Swiss Re chairman resigns

March 9, 2009

, ZURICH, March 9 – Peter Forstmoser, the chairman of the world\’s biggest reinsurer Swiss Re, has resigned, the group said on Monday, as part of a reorganisation that focuses on cutting risks in its investment portfolio.

Forstmoser will be replaced by the group\’s vice-chairman and chairman of Credit Suisse, Walter Kielholz.

The reorganisation at Swiss Re has in turn prompted a management reshuffle at Credit Suisse.

The bank announced on Monday that Kielholz has stepped down from his post heading the bank\’s board in order to focus on his role at the reinsurer.

Hans-Ulrich Doerig, currently vice-chairman of the bank, has been nominated to replace Kielholz as chairman of Credit Suisse.

Switzerland\’s biggest financial institutions have announced major management reshuffles this year after the country\’s biggest bank UBS and Swiss Re posted unprecedented annual losses due to the US subprime home crisis and ensuing global credit crunch.

UBS has announced the replacement of its chief executive officer and chairman.

Swiss Re\’s chief executive Jacques Aigrain also resigned in February when the group posted its biggest annual loss of 864 million Swiss francs for 2008 as earnings were hit by investment losses.

Aigrain was widely blamed for having led the reinsurer into the risky world of investment banking after he was appointed in January 2006.

On Monday, Swiss Re said its reorganisation aimed to "reduce significantly risks in the investment portfolio in order to protect the core business."

In addition, it is seeking 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."

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