De Swaan replaces Ackermann as Zurich Insurance chairman

Reuters

ZURICH (Reuters) - Zurich Insurance Group (VTX:ZURN) said on Wednesday its board appointed Tom de Swaan as chairman, following Josef Ackermann's sudden resignation from the role two weeks ago.

The appointment shows the Swiss insurer is moving fast to reassure investors and employees after it was rocked by the apparent suicide of its financial chief Pierre Wauthier, an event which prompted Ackermann's resignation.

Wauthier had named Ackermann in his suicide note, which a source said blamed the former head of Deutsche Bank (GER:DBK) for putting him under pressure.

De Swaan's first move as acting chairman, a role he assumed two weeks ago, was to launch a review into whether undue pressure had been placed on Wauthier.

Ackermann will also likely step down from his board position at Siemens (GER:SIE), a source familiar with the plan said on Wednesday.

Zurich said its board also voted Fred Kindle as vice-chairman of the board. Both appointments are effective immediately.

De Swaan, a former chief financial officer at ABN Amro, has served on the board of Zurich Insurance Group since 2006, and was elected to the role of vice-chairman in March 2012.

(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; editing by David Evans)

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