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The Group CEO directs the business operations of the Group. The Group CEO, together with the Corporate Executive Board, works out the long-term objectives and strategic orientation of the Group for submission to the Board of Directors and, based on the resolutions of the Board of Directors, ensures the goal-oriented leadership and development of the Group. The Corporate Executive Board can form committees to address specific areas and can delegate competencies to such Corporate Executive Board committees.

The organisation and division of tasks within the Corporate Executive Board generally reflects the key business areas and functions. The members of the Corporate Executive Board have a direct management role with functional management responsibility for cross-divisional competencies. The members of the Corporate Executive Board are responsible for setting objectives, financial planning, HR management and achievement of objectives within their area. They issue directives for their area within the context of legal and regulatory requirements, the relevant regulations and the Group directives valid for the Group as a whole.

The Corporate Executive Board is responsible for the implementation of the corporate strategy, for the establishment of conditions governing business operations and for financial guidance. It is responsible for the preparation of the resolutions for the Board of Directors and its committees, and for monitoring the implementation of these decisions in the Group. The Corporate Executive Board is vested with the authority to rule on business referred to it by the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors’ committees and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, insofar as decision or approval is not reserved exclusively to the delegating body.

The Corporate Executive Board may delegate operational responsibility for the management of subsidiaries to individual members of the Corporate Executive Board.

Management structure of the Swiss Life Group as at 31 December 2018


Members of the Corporate Executive Board

On 31 December 2018 the Corporate Executive Board of Swiss Life Holding was composed of the following members:

NameFunctionMember of the
Corporate Executive
Board since
Patrick FrostGroup CEO01.07.2006
Markus LeibundgutCEO Switzerland01.04.2014
Thomas BuessGroup CFO01.08.2009
Charles RelecomCEO France01.07.2008
Jörg ArnoldCEO Germany01.07.2017
Stefan MächlerGroup CIO01.09.2014
Nils FroweinCEO International01.01.2015

Patrick Frost — Born 1968, Swiss national
Group Chief Executive Officer (Group CEO)

Patrick Frost studied at the ETH in Zurich and the universities of Cologne, Basel and Zurich, obtaining degrees in natural science (dipl. Natural Science (dipl. Natw. ETH), economics (Dr. rer. pol.) and law (lic. iur.)). He began his career in the mid-nineties as an analyst and subsequently as a Portfolio Manager in asset management for Winterthur Group. After two years in the US as a Corporate Bond Manager, he was appointed Head of Fixed Income at Winterthur Group in 2001.

In 2006 Patrick Frost was appointed Member of the Corporate Executive Board and Group Chief Investment Officer of Swiss Life and in this capacity was responsible for the investment management of the Swiss Life Group. Since 1 July 2014 he has been Group Chief Executive Officer (Group CEO) of the Swiss Life Group.

Other appointments:
  • American Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Financial Services Chapter Board
  • Zurich Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Board of Directors
  • Zürcher Volkswirtschaftliche Gesellschaft, (Zurich Economic Society), 1st Vice Chairman of the Board

Markus Leibundgut — Born 1969, Swiss national
Chief Executive Officer Switzerland (CEO Switzerland)

Markus Leibundgut studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of Bern and gained his doctorate in quantum field theory. Having joined McKinsey & Company in 1999 he worked in various positions as a strategic advisor for companies in a number of sectors including technology, telecommunications and management. During his career at McKinsey & Company, Markus Leibundgut focused on consulting in the insurance sector in Europe and Switzerland. He was elected a partner in 2005. From 2009 to 2011 Markus Leibundgut also managed the McKinsey European Life Insurance Center of Competence. He joined Swiss Life in 2012, initially heading the Finance & Actuarial Services business area as CFO and Member of the Executive Board at Swiss Life Switzerland. In 2013 Markus Leibundgut was appointed Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board of Swiss Life Germany.

From April 2014 to March 2017 Markus Leibundgut was Chief Executive Officer Germany (CEO Germany) and Member of the Corporate Executive Board of the Swiss Life Group.

Markus Leibundgut was appointed Chief Executive Officer Switzerland (CEO Switzerland) in April 2017. He continues as a Member of the Corporate Executive Board of the Swiss Life Group.

Other appointments:
  • Palladio Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • SOBRADO Software AG, Member of the Board of Directors
  • Swiss Insurance Association (SIA), Member of the Board of Directors
  • Society for the Promotion of the Institute of Insurance Economics of the University of St. Gallen, Member of the Board

Thomas Buess — Born 1957, Swiss national
Group Chief Financial Officer (Group CFO)

After completing his business administration and economics studies at the University of St. Gallen and a two-year research activity at the Institute of International Economics, Thomas Buess launched his career in insurance in 1985. From 1985 to 1993 he assumed various positions in the area of finance at the ELVIA Group. In 1994 he joined Zurich Financial Services Group as Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Executive Committee of the Swiss P&C business unit. From 1997 to 1999 he was Chief Financial Officer of all Swiss operations. In 1999 Thomas Buess moved to the USA as Chief Financial Officer of Zurich Financial Services Group’s North American business area. In 2002 he was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Group Management Board. Thomas Buess went on to head the reorganisation of the life insurance business before assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer of Zurich Financial Services Global Life in 2004. In January 2009 he moved to Allianz Group as Head of Operational Transformation.

In August 2009, Thomas Buess joined the Swiss Life Group as Group Chief Financial Officer (Group CFO) and Member of the Corporate Executive Board.

Thomas Buess will hand over his executive function in the Corporate Executive Board to Matthias Aellig, currently Group Chief Risk Officer, on 1 March 2019. As communicated in the media release of 26 October 2018, Thomas Buess will be proposed for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on 30 April 2019.

Other appointment:
  • Swiss Insurance Association (SIA), Chairman of the Finance and Regulation Committee

Charles Relecom — Born 1953, Belgian and Swiss national
Chief Executive Officer France (CEO France)

Charles Relecom graduated from the University of Namur (Belgium) with a degree in mathematics and went on to gain a master’s degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Louvain (Belgium). He began his career in 1978 as Chief Actuary and Chief Technology Officer at Swiss Life in Belgium. In 1984 he moved to the head office in Zurich, where he played a significant role in setting up the International Division. From 1988 to 1994 he worked for ELVIA Life as Director of Sales in the key accounts business. In 1994 he moved to «La Suisse» and, in 1998, was appointed CEO of the non-life business and Chief Actuary. In 2000 he became the CEO of «La Suisse», a position he held until 2005 when the company was integrated into the Swiss Life Group. Following the integration, Charles Relecom returned to Swiss Life in Belgium, initially as the CEO of Zelia S.A. and, from February 2006, as CEO for the entire Belgian business.

In July 2008 Charles Relecom was appointed Chief Executive Officer France (CEO France) of the Swiss Life Group and Member of the Corporate Executive Board.

Other appointment:
  • French Insurance Association (FFA), Member of the Board of Directors

Jörg Arnold — Born 1964, German national
Chief Executive Officer Germany (CEO Germany)

After completing his studies in business economics at the University of Cologne, Jörg Arnold joined what was then Colonia Versicherung (now the AXA Group) in 1991 as assistant to the CEO. Jörg Arnold worked in a variety of positions at the company, including head of the Distribution Management department and district manager of the Frankfurt branch office, and in 1998 was made sales director and Member of the Executive Committee of Colonia Versicherung at its Berlin branch office. In 2001 he was appointed Head of Sales at Deutsche Ärzteversicherung AG, joining their Management Committee. In 2010 Jörg Arnold took over as CEO of Deutsche Ärzteversicherung AG. In this capacity he was responsible for sales as well as for operations, business development and human resources. In 2014 Jörg Arnold became Global Head of Savings, Retirement & Distribution at AXA Group in Paris within the Life & Savings Global Business Line, which is responsible for the Group’s worldwide life insurance business.

On 1 July 2017 Jörg Arnold took over as Chief Executive Officer Germany (CEO Germany) and Member of the Corporate Executive Board of the Swiss Life Group.


Stefan Mächler — Born 1960, Swiss national
Group Chief Investment Officer (Group CIO)

After studying law at the University of St. Gallen, Stefan Mächler (lic. iur. HSG) spent 18 years working for the Credit Suisse Group in the capital market and asset management areas. After nine years abroad and various posts in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul and Frankfurt, he returned to Switzerland in early 1999 and was appointed Managing Director of Sales & Marketing Europe and Switzerland at Credit Suisse Asset Management. At the same time, he was the driving force behind the foundation of the listed real estate company Swiss Prime Site AG, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors until 2005. From 2005 until 2009 he worked for Deutsche Bank, initially assuming responsibility for managing family offices in Switzerland and in the final two years serving as CEO of Privatbank Rüd, Blass & Cie AG. From 2009 until 2014, Stefan Mächler was in charge of asset management at the Swiss Mobiliar Group as Chief Investment Officer and Member of the Group Executive Board.

On 1 September 2014 Stefan Mächler was appointed Group Chief Investment Officer and Member of the Corporate Executive Board of the Swiss Life Group.

Other appointments:
  • Stiftung Technopark Zürich, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Inter-Community School Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees

Nils Frowein — Born 1964, German national
Chief Executive Officer International (CEO International)

Nils Frowein is an economics graduate with German and American accountancy certification. He is a skilled banker and has extensive expertise in the financial services sector and many years of capital market experience. From 1997 until 2004 he worked at the auditing firm BDO Deutsche Warentreuhand AG, where he was responsible for the Financial Advisory Services division, most recently as partner. From 2004 to 2007 Nils Frowein was CFO of financial services provider MLP. There he was significantly involved in laying the strategic foundations for the company. Nils Frowein joined AWD as deputy Chief Executive Officer in January 2008. He was initially Chief Financial Officer and was appointed Chief Operating Officer on 1 September 2008. Between 2009 and 2010 he additionally took charge of the Swiss business of AWD as acting CEO.

Nils Frowein has been Chairman of the Swiss Life subsidiary Chase de Vere in the UK since 2010 and since 2011 Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Swiss Life Select Austria and the Czech Republic.

Nils Frowein has been Chief Executive Officer of the International market unit (CEO International) since 1 January 2013 and Member of the Corporate Executive Board of the Swiss Life Group since 1 January 2015.

Since 2017 he has in addition been Chairman of Swiss Life Singapore, Swiss Life Luxembourg and Swiss Life Liechtenstein. In October 2018 Nils Frowein became Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Fincentrum, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Other appointments:
  • German-Swiss Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Board
  • British Swiss Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Board

Resignations and new members

No members of the Corporate Executive Board departed during the reporting period, nor did any new members join the Board.

Thomas Buess, Group Chief Financial Officer, will hand over his executive function in the Corporate Executive Board to Matthias Aellig, currently Group Chief Risk Officer, on 1 March 2019. Thomas Buess will be proposed for election to the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on 30 April 2019.

Outlook

As announced in the media release of 14 August 2018, Matthias Aellig, currently Group Chief Risk Officer, will take over the duties of Group Chief Financial Officer (Group CFO) on 1 March 2019 and become a Member of the Corporate Executive Board.

Matthias Aellig — Born 1971, Swiss national
Group Chief Financial Officer (as of 1 March 2019)

Matthias Aellig studied Physics at the University of Bern. After receiving his doctorate in the field of solar wind and completing a research visit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, he joined McKinsey & Company in Zurich as an advisor in 2000, mainly charged with projects in the banking and insurance area. At the end of 2003, Matthias Aellig joined the then-Winterthur Group (now AXA), initially as Head of Value Management and then, as of 2004, as Chief actuary Life, running the Winterthur Group’s actuarial office. In 2007 he was named Chief actuary Life at Zurich Switzerland, in which role he was notably responsible for reserving, the group life operating account and market-consistent valuation. Since 2010 Matthias Aellig has been Chief Risk Officer of the Swiss Life Group. In this function he is charged with the Group-wide enterprise risk management framework, which includes, in addition to quantitative and qualitative risk management, the Group’s actuarial office and product and margin management.