Swiss Re names CIO, loses CUO

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Swiss Re has picked an internal employee as its next chief investment officer. Meanwhile, its chief underwriting officer has stepped down from his role.  

The Swiss reinsurer appointed Velina Peneva as its group CIO, four months after the firm announced the retirement of incumbent CIO Guido Fürer.

Peneva’s new role will take effect on 1 April. 

She is currently co-head client solutions & analytics in Swiss Re's asset management business. Previously, she headed Swiss Re's private equity investment mandate. Before joining the company in 2017, she worked for consultancy Bain & Company in the US, Australia and Switzerland, most recently as a partner and leader for the private equity and institutional investor practices in Zurich.

Group chief executive officer Christian Mumenthaler said: "Velina has a very strong track record both within and outside Swiss Re. She brings a combination of deep financial market expertise, strategic and investment skills, proven leadership capabilities and a well-established industry network."

Fürer’s retirement takes effect on 31 March after 25 years with the company and having served as group CIO for a full decade. 

At the time his retirement was announced in September, Fürer said after his career in the financial sector, he wanted to “enjoy more time with my family and dedicate myself to my pro bono activities on various foundation boards”.

While the company has gained a new CIO, it is also losing CUO Thierry Léger, who will become CEO of French rival SCOR from 1 May. 

Mumenthaler will take over Thierry Léger's responsibilities ad interim.

Mumenthaler said: "Over the past 25 years with Swiss Re, Thierry made great contributions to many parts of our business, from reinsurance to former Life Capital Business Unit, to group underwriting. Since his appointment as Group CUO in 2020, he has successfully evolved our underwriting capabilities through utilising cutting-edge research, access to more and better data and analytics.”

At SCOR, Léger replaces Laurent Rousseau, who is leaving the group to pursue other professional opportunities.

Rousseau became SCOR’s CEO in June 2021 to succeed Denis Kessler, who left the executive role but remained as company chairman. 

François de Varenne, executive committee member in charge of investments, technology, transformation and group corporate finance, is appointed interim CEO of SCOR with immediate effect until Léger takes up his post in May. 

The board of directors has asked Kessler to lend his support to de Varenne and then to Léger, to ensure the smooth running of this change in executive management.

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