Swiss Re Selects John Coomber as New CEO

Swiss Re announced that its Board of Directors has appointed John Coomber , 53, as its new CEO, effective January 1, 2003. He’ll replace Walter Keilholz, who recently became Board Chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston.

Keilholz will remain as Vice-Chairman of the Board, and John Fitzpatrick, Swiss Re’s current CFO will succeed Coomber as head of the company’s Life & Health Business Group.

Peter Forstmoser, Chairman of Swiss Re’s Board of Directors stated that, “The Board is pleased that John Coomber has accepted this new challenge and we are confident he will continue to steer Swiss Re in a direction which ensures the firm’s prosperity. Swiss Re’s management philosophy is based on having a strong senior management group and today’s appointments reconfirm this team approach.”

He also praised Keilholz achievements since he became CEO in 1997, indicating that he had, “transformed Swiss Re’s many international operations into one truly global firm,” and, “has diversified the business, so it is now well balanced between the property and casualty and life and health businesses and established the platform for Financial Services Business Group.”

The bulletin noted that Coomber, a citizen of the U.K., “will take up his post as Chief Executive Officer thirty years to the day since he joined Swiss Re.” Currently based in London, Coomber is recognized as the force driving the “profitable and substantial growth of the life and health business.” The report said that under his tenure “operating revenues and earnings have increased more than 30% per annum, with revenues exceeding CHF 12 billion in 2001 [$8.32 billion].”

Commenting on his new role Coomber stated, “I look forward to building on Swiss Re’s many strengths. In the current market, Swiss Re has the expertise and financial strength to fully capitalise on opportunities and deliver excellent results.”