Shaughnessy will also step down from the Zurich executive committee but retain other duties at the group; including continuing to serve as a member of various European subsidiary boards.
His decision follows a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease several years ago, the company stated.
Shaughnessy originally joined Zurich in 2012 as the chief executive of Zurich UK Life.
He was appointed chief executive Emea in July 2016, having joined the executive committee in January 2016 as chief executive Global Life.
Group chief executive Mario Greco said: “Gary is a passionate, values-based leader who embodies Zurich’s focus on people and customers. I’m especially grateful for the pivotal role that he has played in creating an integrated and successful Emea organisation.
“We fully support Gary’s decision and are pleased that he has agreed to stay engaged with Zurich.”
Blanc was appointed group chief executive of Axa UK & Ireland in July 2016 having been chief executive, Axa UK & Ireland General Insurance since January 2016.
She joined the board of Axa UK & Ireland in 2011 when she was appointed chief executive, Axa Insurance Commercial Lines.
Prior to Axa, Blanc held various leadership roles in the commercial lines business from 1999 to 2003.
She re-joined Axa UK in 2011 from The Towergate Partnership where she was deputy group chief executive, with responsibility for the leadership of Towergate’s retail broking business.
Greco said: “In Amanda, we have identified a high-impact proven people leader with deep experience and knowledge. Throughout her career in commercial insurance, broking and consulting, she has consistently demonstrated a keen focus on customer needs, people engagement and profitability.
“Amanda is also an outspoken thought leader on the impact that digital capabilities will have on our markets. She’ll be a strong addition to the executive committee.”