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Trump presidency could help our US business, says Zurich CFO

Some of the pledges made by President–elect Donald Trump could play to the advantage of Zurich Insurance, according to the Swiss company's chief financial officer (CFO).

Speaking to CNBC Thursday, CFO George Quinn said some of the measures proposed amid campaign rhetoric from the Republican could provide a favorable climate for the Swiss insurer's two large businesses.

"Some of the commitments that the president has made around infrastructure spend and changed tax reform could be very beneficial, could prompt some growth. And of course if the U.S. economy grows given the size of the business we have there, this could be very beneficial for us," he outlined.

In any case, despite acknowledging that a Trump presidency would be a largely unknown quantity, Quinn emphasized that the nearly 150-year old institution would not be derailed by the upcoming change to the U.S. political order.

"We'll cope with whatever changes emerge in the U.S., we're an adaptable organization. I guess it's not clear yet so it's very hard to be concrete about what's to come," he offered.


Michele Limina | Bloomberg | Getty Images

This as Zurich Insurance posted a 342 percent leap in third-quarter net profit on the back of the successful implementation of restructuring initiatives pushed through under new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mario Greco.

The $912 million net profit figure posted trounced the average estimate of $722 million from a Reuters' poll.

Next Thursday the company plans to hold an investor day in London during which it will unveil further information on its ongoing strategic overhaul.

However, Quinn told CNBC not to expect a "revolution" next week, saying, "execution" will be the focus as that is where the insurer needs to "significantly strengthen" its game.

Despite a back-up in government bond yields in recent months, the CFO warned about complacency when incorporating interest rate levels into financial plans.

According to Quinn, "Many insurance companies need to get used to the idea that interest rates could be low for a very long time and it's a key input into how we price products. And I think if we were to start today to assume that maybe interest rates would bail us out next year or the year after, that would be a mistake."

Indeed, the CFO said the company's ongoing and well-flagged attempts to simplify its business operations are a key part of its strategy for coping with the new realities spawned by the low rate climate.

"I think it's really important that we focus on adapting to the world that we currently live in and set the targets accordingly," he concluded.