Swiss Re today announced the appointment of Philip K. Ryan as Chairman of the Swiss Re America Holding Corporation board, effective 1 October 2012. In this function, he succeeds Walter A. Bell, who has served as the holding company board's chairman since 2 September 2008.
Until May 2012, Ryan was Chief Financial Officer of Power Financial and Power Corporation of Canada, a diversified management and holding company with interests primarily in life insurance, asset management and financial advisory services. Ryan has also held various leadership positions in his 22 years with Credit Suisse in the US, Switzerland and the UK; most notably, Chairman of the Financial Institutions Group and Chief Financial Officer of Credit Suisse Group.
"We're excited Philip has agreed to lead the holding company as chairman of its board," said Group Chairman Walter Kielholz. "Philip joins a high performing team that is focused on growing Swiss Re in the Americas, and maneuvering the business through a complex economic and regulatory environment."
"My familiarity with, and admiration for, Swiss Re goes back many years," said Philip Ryan, who has been a member of the Swiss Re America Holding Corp. board since 2010. "I look forward to lending my expertise to help the holding company expand its reputation in the Americas, and attract the talent and clients we need to sustain our growth."
In addition, Ryan will help Swiss Re focus on its strategic priorities in the Americas, while ensuring matters related to regulation, financial performance, and sustainability/resilience are supported.
Once Ryan officially becomes Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation in October, Walter Bell will remain on as a director, formally retiring from the holding company board by April 2013.
Bell has been integral in establishing Swiss Re's leadership in using insurance to help governments and NGOs adapt to the consequences of climate change while building financial resilience to the impact of natural catastrophes. This includes forging partnerships between Swiss Re and USAID, as well as pioneering a parametric hurricane insurance cover for state governments.
"We are extremely grateful for Walter's contributions to Swiss Re's continued leadership in America," said Kielholz. "Since joining as Chairman in 2008, Walter has guided the holding company through unprecedented change in the world markets. We deeply appreciate Walter's steadfastness and advocacy during that critical period."