The FINANCIAL — Peter Forstmoser, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss Re, has decided to resign from the Board. He is to be succeeded by Walter B. Kielholz, who was up to now Vice Chairman.
Peter Forstmoser will step down as of 1 May 2009. Mathis Cabiallavetta, member of the Board of Directors, has been appointed Vice Chairman as of the date of the Annual General Meeting.
Peter Forstmoser, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said: “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.”
With this reorganisation, 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;
Walter B. Kielholz said: “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.”
Kielholz added: “In view of the major challenges confronting us, I have decided to concentrate fully on the Swiss Re Chairmanship and to relinquish this role at Credit Suisse on the date of this company’s Annual General Meeting. I look forward to working closely with Stefan Lippe, his management team as well as with Mathis Cabiallavetta and an experienced Board of Directors.”
Peter Forstmoser was elected to the Board of Directors of Swiss Re in 1990. In the year 2000, the Board of Directors appointed him Chairman. During his time as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Forstmoser played a significant role in ensuring that Swiss Re became one of the world’s leading reinsurers.
Walter Kielholz, Vice Chairman of Swiss Re’s Board of Directors, said: “The Board thanks Peter Forstmoser for the outstanding work he has done for the company over the years, for his competence and for the way in which he always sought to act fairly and take account of the interests of all stakeholders. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Forstmoser 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, in 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.”
At the Annual General Meeting, as already announced, Thomas W. Bechtler, Bénédict G.F. Hentsch and Kaspar Villiger will resign as members of the Board of Directors.
For the upcoming Annual General Meeting on 13 March 2009, the Board of Directors will not propose any new candidates for appointment to the Board.