By John Miller
ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss markets watchdog FINMA on Tuesday named Zurich Insurance Chief Investment Officer Urban Angehrn as its next chief executive officer, turning to a longtime insurance industry executive to lead the nation’s financial supervisor.
The Swiss government has approved the move, FINMA said in a statement. Angehrn, who spent 14 years at Zurich after previous career stops at Winterthur insurance, Credit Suisse (SIX:) First Boston and JP Morgan, succeeds Mark Branson, who in March was named president of the German finance regulator BaFin.
Angehrn takes over the Swiss markets authority as it scrutinizes risk controls at Credit Suisse following twin financial debacles at the country’s second-biggest bank that cost and billions of francs in losses.
Jan Bloechliger will remain as CEO ad interim until Angehrn takes over on Nov. 1, FINMA said.
Angehrn takes over a supervisory body, not a regulator, as Swiss law that is designed largely to shield banks does not allow FINMA to impose fines, though it can claw back profits from any illicit activity. FINMA also oversees insurers including Zurich, Angehrn’s current employer.
“FINMA is gaining an experienced leader with broad national and international financial market experience in the insurance, banking and asset management industries,” Marlene Amstad, Chair of FINMA’s Board of Directors, said in a statement.
With its move naming Angehrn, FINMA has again turned to Switzerland’s domestic financial industry for a leader, after it in 2014 hired Branson away from UBS where he spent a dozen years as a top manager.
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