Swiss Re chairman to step down – will return to UBS as CEO

Transition plan confirmed

Swiss Re chairman to step down – will return to UBS as CEO

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Sergio P. Ermotti, who was group chief executive at UBS for nine years until 2020, will be stepping down as chairman of Swiss Re as he returns to lead the Credit Suisse buyer.

“Further to the announcement of March 19, 2023 regarding UBS’s acquisition of Credit Suisse, the board of directors of UBS have appointed Sergio P. Ermotti as group chief executive officer and president of the group executive board, effective on April 5, 2023, after the annual general meeting,” announced UBS on Wednesday.

“He will succeed Ralph Hamers, who has agreed to step down to serve the interests of the new combination, the Swiss financial sector, and the country. Ralph Hamers will remain at UBS and work alongside Sergio P. Ermotti as an advisor during a transition period to ensure a successful closure of the transaction and a smooth hand-over.”

What the appointment means for Swiss Re

Earlier this month, Swiss Re’s board proposed Ermotti’s re-election as chair at the reinsurance giant’s shareholders meeting on April 12. However, following the CEO appointment, Swiss Re unveiled a transition plan in response to Ermotti’s upcoming move. 

“The Swiss Re board has nominated Jacques de Vaucleroy as new vice chairman and lead independent director subject to his re-election as board member by shareholders, effective post-AGM,” said the reinsurer in a release.

“To fully concentrate on his role at UBS, Sergio P. Ermotti intends to step down after the AGM and a short handover period. The board of directors will immediately start the search to identify a successor. In the interim, Jacques de Vaucleroy will chair the board of directors until a new chairperson has been elected by an extraordinary meeting of shareholders.”

On the board’s behalf, current vice chair Renato Fassbind thanked Ermotti for his significant contributions and dedicated leadership over the last two years, while wishing him “all the very best” for the new challenges and opportunities ahead.

Ermotti, meanwhile, had this to say: “In response to these extraordinary circumstances, we will ensure the highest standards of good governance as well as stability and continuity in managing this transition.

“I am convinced the proceedings now proposed are in the best interest of our shareholders, and I am confident that the transition under the leadership of Jacques de Vaucleroy will be well managed. Swiss Re has very clear strategic goals and is well positioned to deliver on all its targets.”

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