Former long-standing Zurich executive joins Swiss financial watchdog

clock • 2 min read
Former long-standing Zurich executive joins Swiss financial watchdog

Former senior Zurich Insurance Group executive Urban Angehrn started as new chief executive of Switzerland's Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) on 1 November.

Angehrn, who had been Zurich's group chief investment officer from July 2015 and a member of the Group's executive committee, replaces CEO ad interim Jan Blöchliger, who returns to his role as head of the Banks division and member of the executive board.

He will recuse himself from items of business that concern his former employer, FINMA said in a statement.

The Swiss financial centre faces major opportunities and challenges, particularly in relation to digitalisation and sustainability."

Michael Waldburger, who led the Banks division on an interim basis for the past seven months and was a member of the Executive Board, will lead the supervision of UBS as before.

Marlene Amstad, Chair of FINMA's board of directors, said: "The Swiss financial centre faces major opportunities and challenges, particularly in relation to digitalisation and sustainability.

Besides his long and broad experience in the traditional focus areas of supervision, not least risk management, Urban Angehrn also has considerable experience in both of these areas.

I am very much looking forward to driving progress in these areas of future relevance together with him and the whole of the FINMA leadership team."

Angehrn said: "I am very happy to be joining a well-run, established authority, which has gained both national and international recognition.

Since it was established almost thirteen years ago, FINMA has achieved a lot and laid the foundations for safeguarding financial stability, client protection and integrity in the financial centre.

Building on this, I now intend - together with the leadership team and the employees - to develop FINMA further, in particular by looking closely at the topic of change in the sector and actively accompanying this with an open mind as a supervisory authority."

Zurich Insurance Group announced earlier this year (13 July) that Angehrn had tendered his resignation.

Peter Giger, group chief risk officer and member of Zurich's executive committee, took on the additional responsibilities as group chief investment officer on an interim basis until a suitable permanent successor for Angehrn has been identified.

Mario Greco, group chief executive officer, said at that time: "On behalf of the Board, and the whole Group, I would like to thank Urban for his long-standing service and leadership over 14 years at Zurich and to wish him every success in his new role as CEO of FINMA. I would like to pay tribute to his management of our investment portfolio in a volatile, low-interest rate environment and the key role he played in Zurich becoming a leading responsible investor."