Zurich scores Daly as CIO

Former St George Bank operations and integration guru Mike Daly has made it over the line to secure the post of Australian CIO at Zurich Financial Services and will replace outgoing CIO Glen Hickey, who, the company says, is returning to Melbourne.

The 1000-seat appointment comes as the acquisitive insurer and financial services company continues to muscle up its Web-based applications and transactional front ends and gain increased transparency across its various product lines.

While Daly is officially media shy until he settles into his new role, Zurich's CEO Tom Brown is not wasting any time selling the appointment as a technological and competitive win for the insurer.

"We have introduced such initiatives as Z.stream, the Web-based delivery system, for insurance brokers, and online life risk underwriting services for advisers. Our objective is to continue to introduce such innovative technological systems which will benefit both intermediaries and their clients. "Mike brings to the position wide-ranging skills which will help us drive this ongoing program of innovation," Brown said.

The tale in Daly's resume also makes for interesting, if lengthy, reading with some three decades of strategy, IT and operations experience on call for his new employer.

From his previous time with the bank, Daly is cited as being instrumental in the integration of Barclay's Australian subsidiary when St George bought it in 1994. Then group financial controller, he eventually rose to the post of general manager, group strategy.

A well-placed recruitment source humourously noted the appointment of a former St George staffer is not likely to ruffle too many cultural feathers at Daly's new digs, because "it's not as if they have to beat the Dragon's supporter out of him". St George Bank is well known for its long-standing support of its namesake NSW rugby league club.

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