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Swiss Re CEO resigns

Published on 12/02/2009

ZURICH - Jacques Aigrain stepped down as chief executive officer of Swiss Re, the world's largest reinsurer, and will be replaced by Stefan Lippe, the group announced Thursday in a statement.

Lippe, 53, who was with the group for 25 years, moves up from his position as deputy CEO position and chief operating officer, said the company.

Lippe’s experience would help the group’s efforts to reinforce its core business, said Swiss Re’s president Peter Forstmoser in a statement.

The group’s shares dropped sharply earlier in February after it announced it expected net losses for 2008 of CHF 1 billion (USD 860 million, EUR 672 million).

The group also announced it obtained CHF 5 billion in fresh capital, including CHF 3 billion from US investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group.

On Friday, 6 February, the day after Swiss Re announced the expected losses, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its long-term debt rating from "Aa2" to "Aa3".

Moody’s did not exclude a future further downgrade because of fears about toxic assets.

"The review for possible further downgrade reflects concerns over whether the Group’s future credit profile is likely to remain consistent with the expectations for an Aa-rated entity", it added.

[AFP / Expatica]