Home Finance Swiss markets watchdog names Zurich insurance executive as new chief

Swiss markets watchdog names Zurich insurance executive as new chief

Switzerland’s markets watchdog FINMA named Zurich Insurance chief investment officer Urban Angehrn as its new boss. Angehrn will take charge at the Swiss market authority as it scrutinises risk controls at Credit Suisse following financial debacles at the country’s second-biggest bank that led to billions of francs in losses.

FINMA is also stepping up pressure on banks and insurers. This includes Zurich Insurance, to disclose climate risks to their businesses. Angehrn succeeds Mark Branson, who was named president of the German finance regulator BaFin in March. Marlene Amstad, Chair of FINMA’s Board of Directors, said in a statement that FINMA is gaining an experienced leader with broad national and international financial market experience in the insurance, banking and asset management industries.

With its appointment of Angehrn, FINMA has again turned to Switzerland’s domestic financial industry for a leader. Branson was elevated to FINMA’s top job in 2014 after leading its oversight of banks and holding a deputy CEO role. Jan Bloechliger will remain as interim CEO until Angehrn takes over on Nov. 1. Angehrn’s appointment, approved by the Swiss government, puts him in charge of a supervisory body, not a regulator. FINMA has a code of conduct mandating that Angehrn recuse himself from participating in supervisory decisions over Zurich Insurance in the year after he starts work.

Zurich CEO Mario Greco, who lauded Angehrn’s management of the insurer’s investments in a separate statement, named Peter Giger, currently Zurich’s group chief risk officer, as interim CIO until a permanent replacement is found.

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