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Troubled Swiss Re takes in old CEO

FORMER Credit Suisse chairman Walter Kielholz relinquished his post at Switzerland's No. 2 bank to become chairman of troubled reinsurer Swiss Re, which has turned to Warren Buffett for cash after a hefty loss.

Kielholz, a former CEO at Swiss Re and currently a vice-chairman at the company, will replace Peter Forstmoser, who is stepping down on May 1.

"This is not a clean break for Swiss Re," said Tim Dawson, an analyst at Helvea. "Kielholz was the person who started the move into alternative risk products. The company needs to make some major changes to restore investor confidence. I am not sure whether this goes far enough."

Swiss Re had already rushed to appoint a new chief executive, Stefan Lippe, last month after a disastrous foray into investment banking brought it to its knees.

Hans-Ulrich Doerig, currently vice-chairman at Credit Suisse, will be promoted to chairman, the bank said in a statement.

The board reshuffles come just days after Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, named a new chief executive and chairman, completing a top management clear out designed to drag the beleaguered bank out of its deepest crisis.

Credit Suisse, which has said it had a good start to 2009, has not been as badly hit by the financial crisis as UBS and Swiss Re, but still posted a record loss for 2008.


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