Walter B. Kielholz, a Swiss citizen born in 1951, was elected to Swiss Re’s Board of Directors in June 1998.
He began his career at the General Reinsurance Corporation, Zurich in 1976. After working in the US, UK and Italy, he assumed responsibility for the company’s European marketing. In 1983 he opened an art gallery and picture framing business with his wife, Daphne Kielholz-Pestalozzi. A second gallery was opened in 1986. He joined Credit Suisse in 1986, where he was responsible for client relations with large insurance groups in the multinational services department.
In 1989, Walter B. Kielholz joined Swiss Re, Zurich. He became a member of the Executive Board in January 1993 and was Swiss Re’s Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 2002. He was Executive Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors from 2003 to 2006 and Vice Chairman from 2007 to April 2009. He was nominated Chairman with effect from 1 May 2009.
Walter B. Kielholz has been a member of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG since 1999. He was Chairman of the bank’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2009.
He is Chairman of the European Financial Services Round Table (EFR), which contributes to the European public policy debate on issues relating to financial services. He is also a member (president in 2006/2007) of the International Monetary Conference (IMC), an association of the largest banks worldwide, and a member of the Board of the Institute of International Finance (IIF). In addition, he is a member and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Avenir Suisse, a think tank for economic and social issues. From 1998 to 2005, and again since 2009, he has served as a member of the International Business Leader Advisory Council (IBLAC), an advisory group to the Mayor of Shanghai composed mainly of the chairs of the board and CEOs of major global corporations. In 2009 he became a member of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which advises the MAS on the country’s financial sector reforms and strategies.
In 2005 Walter B. Kielholz was elected by the members of the International Insurance Society to the Insurance Hall of Fame, which honours individuals who have exercised substantial influence on the industry for the benefit of society.
Walter B. Kielholz enjoys sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, reading, opera, concerts and art. He is Chairman of the Zurich Art Society, which runs Zurich’s Kunsthaus museum.
Walter B. Kielholz studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen and graduated in 1976 with a degree in business finance and accounting.