Zurich reports conclusion of FINMA investigation following the death of CFO Pierre Wauthier – no “undue pressure” and appropriate presentation of financial figures

Zurich, November 4, 2013 – Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has received the results of the two independent investigations conducted under the direction of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) following the suicide of the former CFO, Pierre Wauthier. The investigations found no indication that Pierre Wauthier was subjected to any undue or inappropriate pressure, and furthermore, the presentation of the financial figures was confirmed as appropriate.

Following the suicide of Pierre Wauthier, FINMA began two investigations, the first to determine whether Pierre Wauthier had been subjected to any “undue pressure” and the second to review if the financial figures had been appropriately presented. As directed by FINMA, the reviews encompassed the following points:

  • To determine if any inappropriate pressure was exerted by the chairman of the board or by any other decision maker on the CFO, the manner, extent and timing of which could have supported the conclusion that Zurich was improperly managed.
  • To determine if there is any indication which would support the conclusion that Zurich was improperly managed.
  • To determine if there were any irregularities with regard to financial reporting.

The comprehensive investigation into “undue pressure” involved evaluating numerous documents and correspondence, and questioning individuals who worked with Pierre Wauthier. This FINMA-directed investigation found no indication of any such pressure or other inappropriate conduct nor of any improper management of Zurich.

“We are still deeply saddened by the loss of Pierre Wauthier and we are unable to explain the motivation behind his tragic decision. FINMA’s investigation was conducted with Zurich’s full support and cooperation,” emphasizes Tom de Swaan, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Zurich. “ Fostering our corporate culture, values and mutual respect is engrained in our organization at all levels, and the Board of Directors and Management are fully committed to continuously promote these principles.”

Appropriate presentation of the financial figures

FINMA also directed the Group’s auditors to conduct additional procedures regarding Zurich’s financial statements, and this investigation found no irregularities with regard to financial reporting, which complies with regulatory and accounting requirements.
“Zurich remains committed to open and transparent communications. This principle is unchanged,” says de Swaan.

 

Further information

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Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurance provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East as well as other markets. It offers a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services for individuals, small businesses, mid-sized and large companies as well as multinational corporations. Zurich employs about 60,000 people serving customers in more than 170 countries. The Group, formerly known as Zurich Financial Services Group, is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.

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