Agostino Galvagni, new chief operating officer, will lead the changes.

Swiss Re has named Agostino Galvagni as chief operating officer from 1 May 2009 and announced it will cut one in ten jobs over the next year.

“Swiss Re is taking steps to increase its focus on profitable core business and strengthen its capital position. Swiss Re will also accelerate efforts to simplify the organisation and improve operational effectiveness. As previously announced, this will lead to running cost reductions of CHF400 million by the end of 2010,” a company statement said.

Stefan Lippe, Swiss Re’s chief executive, said: “Business focus and delivery of results have always been the hallmark of Agostino Galvagni, and we are delighted that he will strengthen our leadership team. He brings in-depth business and client servicing experience to this role. Agostino Galvagni will help to apply best practice in staying client focussed, while we are accelerating our plan to build a stronger firm.”

The company said it intends to reduce its current global headcount of 11,560 by approximately 10% over the next 12 months.

Agostino Galvagni joined Swiss Re’s Executive Board in September 2005; he is currently Head of Insurance & Specialty in Client Markets. Galvagni is an Italian citizen born in 1960. He graduated in business management from the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan and then joined Bavarian Re, Munich (a former Swiss Re subsidiary), as a trainee.

After undertaking various activities in the fields of underwriting and marketing as well as project work, he joined Swiss Re New Markets, New York in 1998, structuring and marketing insurance-linked and asset-backed securities. He returned to Bavarian Re in 1999 as Member of the Board of Management. In 2001, Mr Galvagni joined Swiss Re, Zurich, as Head of the Globals Business Unit and member of the Europe Division Executive Team. He was appointed to the Executive Board with effect from September 2005 to head the newly formed Globals & Large Risks Division within the Client Markets Business Function.