Swiss Re announced today that Peter Forstmoser, chairman of the board of directors, has decided to resign from the board, effective May 1, 2009. Walter Kielholz, former Swiss Re CEO and current vice chairman, will succeed him.

Mathis Cabiallavetta, a member of the board of directors, will assume Kielholz's role as vice chairman at that time.

Forstmoser says: “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 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 reorganization, Swiss Re says 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 significantly reduce 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

“Swiss Re is a leader in the global market and has great potential," Kielholz says. "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.”

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