James Bracken Joins Zurich North America as CFO
James Bracken Joins Zurich North America as CFO
Zurich North America, a prominent provider of commercial property and casualty insurance, has appointed veteran insurance executive James Bracken as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Bracken will succeed Peter Hirs, who is set to return to Zurich Insurance Group in Switzerland as Group Head of Mergers & Acquisitions effective July 1.

Zurich North America, a key division of the global insurance leader Zurich Insurance Group, offers a comprehensive range of insurance products and services, including risk management, property-casualty insurance, and claims management.

Bracken brings over 25 years of financial services experience to his new role. He previously served as CEO of Fortitude Re, where he established a Bermuda-based runoff reinsurance company with $75 billion in total assets. Prior to that, he was the CFO of AIG General Insurance for six years and held roles in global finance and audit at GE Insurance, GE Capital, and Arthur Andersen & Co.

As Zurich North America’s CFO, Bracken will oversee Actuarial, Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Corporate Tax, Treasury, Planning and Performance Management, and Finance Operations. He will report to Zurich North America CEO Kristof Terryn and will join the Zurich North America Executive Committee, the Zurich Group Leadership Team, the Zurich North America Leadership Team, and the Zurich Group Finance Executive Team. Bracken will be based at Zurich North America’s headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Hirs, transitioning to Group Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at Zurich Insurance Group, has a rich history with Zurich, having served in various regional CFO roles across Zurich Asia Pacific, Zurich Global Corporate North America, and Zurich Switzerland. He joined Zurich Group M&A in 2005 after a career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. In his new role, Hirs will report to Group CFO Claudia Cordioli.

Zurich North America CEO Kristof Terryn, stated, “James’ extensive leadership experience in insurance prepares him well to lead our Finance function and contribute meaningfully on our North American leadership team. His predecessor paves the way for a smooth transition. I thank Peter for his strong stewardship throughout his 4+ years as our North America CFO, and I wish him continued success as we continue to work with him in his new Group role.”

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