Mr Walter Kielholz
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Swiss Re Ltd.
Walter Kielholz, a Swiss citizen born in 1951, studied Business Administration at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, and graduated in 1976 with a degree in Business Finance and Accounting.
He began his career at the General Reinsurance Corporation, Zurich, in 1976. After working in the US, UK and Italy, Mr Kielholz assumed responsibility for the company’s European marketing. In 1983 he opened an art gallery and picture framing business with his wife, Mrs Daphne Kielholz-Pestalozzi. A second gallery was opened in 1986. He joined Credit Suisse in the same year, responsible for client relations with large insurance groups in the Multinational Services department.
Mr Kielholz joined Swiss Re in 1989. He became a member of Swiss Re’s Executive Board in 1993 and was Swiss Re’s Chief Executive Officer from 1997-2002. A Board member since 1998, he was Executive Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006, and from 2007 Vice-Chairman. He was nominated Chairman with effect from 1 May 2009.
Mr Kielholz has been a member of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group since 1999. He was Chairman of the bank’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2009.
From 1999 to 2003 he was President of the Geneva Association, an insurance industry organisation which researches the growing economic importance of worldwide insurance activities in the major sectors of the economy. Since 2004, he has been a member of the European Financial Round Table (EFR), which introduces concerns of the financial services sector into the European public policy debate. Mr Kielholz is also a member (president in 2006/2007) of the International Monetary Conference (IMC), an association of the largest banks worldwide, and a member of the Board of the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
Walter Kielholz is a member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Avenir Suisse, a think tank for social and economic development. From 1998 to 2005, and again since 2009, he has served as a member of the International Business Leader Advisory Council (IBLAC), an advisory group to the Mayor of Shanghai composed mainly of the chairs of the board and CEOs of major global corporations. In 2009 he became a member of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which advises the MAS on the country’s financial sector reforms and strategies.
In 2005 Mr Kielholz was elected by the members of the International Insurance Society to the Insurance Hall of Fame, which honours individuals who have exercised substantial influence on the industry for the benefit of society.
Mr Kielholz enjoys sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, reading, opera and the performing arts. He is Chairman of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft (Zurich Art Society), which runs Zurich’s Kunsthaus museum.