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Swiss Re promotes Mumenthaler to group CEO, reports profit hike for 2015


Christian Mumenthaler will become group CEO of Swiss Re Ltd. on July 1, when Michel M. Lies will retire, the reinsurer announced Tuesday.

Mr. Mumenthaler currently is Zurich-based CEO of the company's reinsurance business unit.

Walter B. Kielholz, chairman of the board of Swiss Re, thanked Mr. Lies for his more than 35 years of service to Swiss Re, the past four as CEO.

“Throughout his career, Michel has lived Swiss Re's highest values and has been key to our group's continued strong performance,” he said in a statement.

“Under his leadership over the past four years, net income has almost doubled, the capital base has increased significantly and we have distributed more than $12 billion of excess capital back to shareholders,” he said.

The leadership announcement came as Swiss Re reported net income of $4.60 billion for 2015, up 31.3% from 2014.

The Zurich-based reinsurer said results were boosted by an absence of major catastrophes, reserve releases and strong results from its life and health reinsurance unit, which posted net income of $939 million for 2015 compared with a loss of $462 million for 2014.

Swiss Re said that its property/casualty reinsurance unit net income fell 16.5% to $3.0 billion in 2015 compared with 2014. It said this drop was caused by softening rates, several large man-made claims and lower investment gains.

The P/C reinsurance arm posted a combined ratio of 86.0% for 2015 compared with 83.7% in 2014.

Swiss Re said its corporate solutions unit, which writes large primary business, posted net income of $340 million for 2015, an increase of 6.6% compared with 2014, but said that its combined ratio deteriorated to 93.8% in 2015 from 93.0% in 2014 because of large man-made losses.

Swiss Re will publish its annual report for 2015 on March 16.