Zurich Financial Services Company was started in 1872. As the name suggests, the company‘s intention was to offer extremely reliable financial services to the citizens of Switzerland. The company had been created to offer marine reinsurance services. It was originally known as the “Versicherungs-Verein” which meant the Insurance Association. After several acquisitions, in 2ooo the company changed its name to Zurich Financial Services in order to incorporate the many companies that it had acquired according to their functions. Zurich Financial Services Company is the biggest insurer in Switzerland. The company has also become extremely competitive in the global financial services. The operations of the company are divided into three major sections; global life, Farmers, as well as General Insurance. The company has developed a ceremony known as the K.A.M.P, which was developed by Zurich and it was a legacy for remembering four of its employees who died on 9/11. These individuals were extremely significant to the company, as they have excessively contributed to the status of the company. by 2012, the company was listed in the stock exchange market. It has been among the most competitive companies in the stock market since it was registered as a trader (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2014). The achievements of the company are highly dependent on the excellent form of management that the board of directors has always extended to the company. Later the company’s name was changed into Zurich Insurance.
The company has its operations headquartered in Zurich in Switzerland. As a financial services company, Zurich Financial Services has its operations falling into three business segments. It is through these facilities or platforms that the company has been in a position to stand after the massive acquisitions that were done before 2000.
The first business segment within which the company operates is general insurance. This involves direct business with individuals, small and medium sized enterprises, as well as major multinational corporations. The company extends insurance services to owners of homes, motor vehicles, and businesses. The insured is supposed to pay premium for the insured products. Premium is a fee that is charged according to the worth of the product being insured. This is the main source of income for any company offering insurance services.
The next business element for the company is global life. It is under this business element that the company offers elements on life insurance, investments, pension products, as well as savings. This means that people have to pay certain money to the company for them to receive the services. This defines the other source of money for the company.
The third business element is defined by Zurich Insurance is to the farmers. Following the extensive risk that is connected to agricultural practices, the company had to define a formula to assist the public. Thus, the element was developed that requires individuals to pay certain premium as the cost for protection. This extends source of income for the company.
It is wise to understand that the company is operating in one of the most competitive but successful fields of business. This is because; all people are aiming at securing all that they have following the unclear calamities that are likely to occur. As more risks arise, the business of Zurich Insurance rises. This means the company is in one of the most outstanding fields and has exclusive capability of succeeding. There are projections that the company will grow and there is need to pay close attention to the changes that are taking place daily. The company intends to have its growth higher through spread to most of the countries around the globe. This means that there are things that have to be done for the company to acquire exclusive entry to the rest of the world. The company mainly intends to capture market on life insurance in different countries as it has in the United States. It is the company behind the United States Life Insurance (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2014).
The company also intends to engage in excellent risk analysis skills that will enable the company win most of the markets. Accurate abilities to analyze risks define the success of the defined plan. The company wishes to market its operations to the rest of the world citing examples of other companies outside the financial services business such as Apple and Microsoft. It is through outstanding management of these companies that success has been realized for such companies. Therefore, Zurich Insurance must be ready to invest exhaustively for realization of the intended financial performance.
Zurich Insurance Group Limited has its shares listed on the Six Swiss Exchange Blue Chip Segment. The company trades in the market under the ticker symbol ZURN, defined through the Swiss security number 1107539. Although, the company, has an extremely wide range of shareholders, it has a controlled number of stockholders. As of December 31, 2013 127922 shareholders with 122403 being private owners owned the company. The private individuals represent 26.2% of the shareholders. Then, 2046 of the shareholders were funds from foundations and pension schemes representing 6.9% of the shares.
However, these shareholders are not capable of making any decision on behalf of the company. They do not have the mandate to execute duties on behalf of the company. On the other hand, there are unique institutions like the BlackRock, Incorporation in New York and Norges Bank, in Oslo had optional rights to control the operations of the Zurich Insurance Group.
Financial Accounting Standards
It is understandable that every successful financial audit must depend on certain standards. These are principles that define how financial presentations are to be made and necessary records affirmed accordingly. In most cases, a company relies on the most applicable principles depending on the location of the company. This is mainly useful in ensuring necessary principles and rules as defined by a given region are respected. The financial accounting standards that are mainly useful for the Zurich Insurance Group Limited are Swiss Auditing Standards. The standards are defined through exclusive respect for legal and statutory requirements of Switzerland. The constitution of Switzerland has excellent definitions of accounting standards, and it demands exclusive respect from the public. However, these principles are well related to the other accounting principles applicable in the world. The Swiss accounting standards are well connected to the U.S. GAAP, which the global organizations respect on its accounting roles.
The company uses two forms of currencies in its operations. For reporting, it uses the US Dollar while for its trade in shares it uses Swiss Francs. Various elements are likely to arise out of using different currencies in one business. This is mainly a problem when the currencies being used are different in value. The currencies may be competitors for strength and uniqueness in the definition of a market. In this case, the currencies that the company chooses to use are competitors with the US Dollar having more strength. In this case, the company will have some of its operations performing better than others. It is highly irresponsible to have the company compete within itself.
In addition, using different currencies would lead to inflationary confusion since the two currencies are likely to lead to different forms of inflation. For example, the US Dollar is a globally used currency and is usually affected by global pressures. This means the pressure may have direct impact to the operations of Zurich Insurance Group, which is becoming a global competitor. The inflations that are likely to occur through use of certain currencies must undergo exclusive scrutiny before certain impacts are experienced.
It is the duty of every successful company to be respectful to certain taxation plans. Since the company has its operations extending to the entire world, taxation is a highly sensitive element and it has to be handled with all necessary keenness. The contribution of company to the economy is usually measured on the amount of revenue it generates for the government through tax revenue.
The company has had its operations extremely well planned. This has been achieved through use of unique taxation procedures for the different business elements of the company. there are unique strategies set to deal with the element of taxation. The company has ensured that all its revenues are taxed. However, the company has to ensure that the taxation takes place like that of any other organization in a given country. The taxation must be respectful to the principles of a given country. It is wise of the auditors to ensure that all taxation principles are followed and at no point will abuse of these principles be respectful to excellent decisions (PricewaterhouseCoopers 2014). The company has to remain focused on the significance of taxation as well as define the most outstanding strategies to make the company remain significance.
For excellence in business, every company has to be considerate of the effectiveness of the principles that it has defined for use. In addition, the company has to be considerate of the recommendations that may be made to improve its operations. There are tasks that Zurich Insurance Group may undertake to improve its services and performance.
One of the recommendations would be the company to set a group of professionals to analyze the applicability of the map work it has defined as guide for its operations. The company needs to hire people with proper understanding of risks analysis and expose it to its goals. These people will help in defining the best strategies to reach a given point in their business.
The next strategy that would be extremely useful is defining excellent internal audit group that would be helpful in checking necessary financial records before the main audit. The existing one needs to undergo extensive training on the most respectable business elements and work towards the success of the organization.
In addition, the company has to execute strategies to negotiate on the amount of tax it is supposed to pay following the significance of the services it offers. Insurance has become a basic requirement and governments should come up with necessary plans to reduce the amount of tax that the companies offering the service pay.
Moreover, the company may offer a chance for minor shareholders to make proposals on the changes they would wish to witness in the organization. This would make the company grow bigger as people would remain significant to the organization as their opinion would count.
PricewaterhouseCoopers . "Disclaimer - Zurich Insurance Group Annual Report 2013." Disclaimer - Zurich Insurance Group Annual Report 2013. N.p., 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://www.zurich.com/2013/en/annual-report/servicepages/welcome.html>.