One of Challenger’s top account managers has left for Zurich Financial Services, filling the newly created role of national accounts manager – investments.

Mark Burgess, formerly head of research relationships at Challenger Financial Services, will join Zurich on July 21. Burgess joined Challenger in 2003, and has previously held sales and key account roles with Colonial First State Global Asset Management and BT Investment Management. Matthew Drennan, director of investments at Zurich, said Burgess was a great addition to the team: “;He is respected by his peers and the people he deals with.”; Burgess will complement the national account manager – life, Brendan Maguire, and both will will report to Nick Langton, who was appointed national key accounts manager in May. These new positions have been created to manage Zurich’s relationships with dealer groups, which have become wholly independent following the sale of its last advisory group, Financial Lifestyle Solutions, to ING in May. As part of Zurich’s strategy to differentiate its offering, it no longer owns advisory groups and deals mainly with independent financial advisors. Rob White, corporate communications manager at Zurich, said that under this strategy, having dedicated key account managers was crucial. “We don’t have tied relationships, and with the big dealer groups cutting approval lists it is becoming increasingly competitive,” he said.

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