Swiss Musical Chairs Continues, As Kielholz Named Swiss Re Chairman

March 9, 2009

Switzerland’s financial community has seen some major upheavals lately. The latest major change came with the announcement that Peter Forstmoser, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss Re, has decided to resign from the Board, effective May 1.

Swiss Re announced that he is to be succeeded by Walter B. Kielholz, who was up to now Vice Chairman. In addition Mathis Cabiallavetta, member of the Board of Directors, has been appointed Vice Chairman as of the date of the Annual General Meeting.

The news follows the departure of CEO Jacques Aigrain (See IJ web site – ).

Commenting on his departure, Forstmoser stated: “Swiss Re has set a new course for its future development. Therefore I have taken the decision to step down from my position as the Chairman of the Board one year earlier than planned. I’m pleased that Walter B. Kielholz has agreed to take on the Chairmanship. With Mathis Cabiallavetta as Vice Chairman, the Chairmanship of the company will be further strengthened.”

Swiss Re said that following the reorganization the “Board will strengthen its focus on the following three areas:
— To give the CEO and the Executive Committee the best possible
support in the company’s core business;
— To reduce significantly risks in the investment portfolio in order
to protect the core business;
— To ensure optimal capital management in order to satisfy
increased demand from clients during this period of pronounced
scarcity of financing in the global insurance sector;

Kielholz added: “Swiss Re is a leader in the global market and has great potential. Even though the current results are disappointing, the core business is intact and its prospects are excellent. The company has highly qualified, committed employees. Moreover, I’m confident that at the Annual General Meeting, shareholders will support our proposals to strengthen the company’s capital base.”

He also said that he would resign from his current position as Chairman of Credit Suisse, and indicated that he is “looking forward to working closely with Stefan Lippe [who replaced Aigrain], his management team as well as with Mathis Cabiallavetta and an experienced Board of Directors.”

Forstmoser joined Swiss Re’s board in 1990, and “played a significant role in ensuring that Swiss Re became one of the world’s leading reinsurers,” said the bulletin. Kielholz, thanked him for his efforts on behalf of the board. He noted that Forstmoser “had led the company through the difficult period following the tragic events of 11 September 2001. In this difficult environment, the important task of raising the capital necessary to acquire Lincoln Re was completed successfully. He must also take a great deal of the credit for the successful acquisition and integration of GE Insurance Solutions.

“It was on his watch that the company recorded the two most successful years it has ever had, I n 2006 and 2007. Both Swiss Re and Switzerland’s business community as a whole have benefited from his depth of knowledge and experience in the field of corporate governance as well as in corporate and capital markets law.”

Source: Swiss Re –

Topics Swiss Re

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