Swiss Life has a reputation for being fair, straightforward and flexible. The UK’s leading provider of employee benefits insurance naturally uses its experience to offer a protective home for its staff. The firm is a subsidiary of Rentenanstalt/Swiss Life in Zurich, Switzerland’s oldest and leading life assurance company, which was established in 1857. The firm launched in the UK in 1967 and has employees in 44 countries.
Net worldwide profits doubled in 2000 to £405m. However, the firm has been hit by a fall in the markets and low interest rates, and at the end of January this year, the board of directors announced cost cuts of 20%.
Everyone is offered flexibility within a flat, well-balanced structure: 70% of staff at the 10 UK offices — including headquarters in Sevenoaks, Kent — work flexible hours, while everyone is given up to £1,500 as cash or to spend in a benefits system (including childcare vouchers, dental and critical illness cover, and income protection). Swiss Life aims to be a great company to deal with or work for.
One employee said: “Anyone walking down the corridor will smile, even if they do not know who you are.” Senior managers elect to job-shadow others, and Steve Burnett, the managing director, recently spent half a day in the print shop.
When the firm’s client services arm moved to new offices in Albert Dock, Liverpool, all staff and partners were treated to a dinner. One employee said: “There is a completely open approach in Swiss Life. All those in management are accessible and approachable and it really is a big family.”
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