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Swiss Re names corporate solutions boss Berger as new CEO

The corporate logo of Swiss Re, the world’s second-largest reinsurer, on the outside of the company offices April 22, 2003 in Munich, Germany.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Reinsurance company Swiss Re said on Wednesday it would appoint its corporate solutions boss Andreas Berger as its group chief executive from July, replacing long-serving CEO Christian Mumenthaler.

The announcement follows a strong recovery by the firm in 2023 after a challenging 2022, which has helped to push the company’s stock to its highest level in several years. Net profit at Swiss Re surged 580% in 2023.

“The board unanimously determined that Andreas Berger is the right person to build on the firm’s current momentum and lead Swiss Re into the next phase of its development,” said Jacques de Vaucleroy, vice chairman of Swiss Re’s board.

De Vaucleroy said Berger had a convincing track record, underscored by his leadership during the successful turnaround of the company’s commercial business insurance arm, corporate solutions.

Vontobel analyst Simon Foessmeier said except for 2023, profitability at Swiss Re had been below that of peers in recent years, so the CEO change was not a “huge surprise as such.”

In a research note, Foessmeier said Berger had built an impressive track record at corporate solutions, adding: “Reinsurance is currently the sweet spot in the sector, for Andreas Berger the key will be execution. Buy.”

Rwanda-born Berger, 57, is a German national who joined Swiss Re in March 2019 as CEO of corporate solutions and a member of the group executive committee, the company said.

The 54-year-old Mumenthaler, who will be leaving the company, joined Swiss Re in 1999 and rose through the ranks to become CEO in July 2016.

A company spokesperson described the handover as an “orderly transition” given Mumenthaler’s long tenure.

“The company is in a good position, and markets are good. So it’s a good time for a change,” the spokesperson said.

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