Swiss Re to finance Risk Management Chair at ETH Zurich

15 April 2008, Zurich

Swiss Re announced today that it will finance a new Chair for Integrative Risk Management at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). The Chair will be established to create a world-class global risk management research and education programme.

The environment of the global risk transfer industry is evolving rapidly. Driven by several forces, especially global warming, population growth, density of assets and the increasing vulnerability of aging infrastructure, the impact of hazardous events is continuing to rise. As an ultimate risk-taker, Swiss Re is uniquely exposed to the consequences of these developments.

To address the challenges ahead, Swiss Re has committed to providing CHF 5 million to the ETH Zurich Foundation over the coming six years to finance a newly created Chair for Integrative Risk Management at ETH Zurich. The Chair is part of a strategic risk research initiative from ETH Zurich aimed at providing knowledge and tools for the concurrent management of technical, economic, natural, and social risks within a geographical context. The professorship funded by Swiss Re will act as a focal point of applied risk research, establishing a world-class global risk management education programme. It will support the development of innovative collaboration schemes with governments, universities and public-private partnerships.

Aiming at a more resilient society

Peter Forstmoser, Chairman of Swiss Re's Board of Directors, said: "It is Swiss Re's long-term aspiration to position Switzerland as a globally recognised risk management hub. The Risk Chair will be essential in fostering integrative risk management research and education based on prevention, preparation, response, recovery, and risk transfer solutions – aiming at a more resilient society."

Ralph Eichler, President of ETH Zurich, continued: "Swiss Re has been associated with ETH Zurich for decades. We are delighted to extend this cooperation to the field of risk management, a field in which both partners have extensive expertise. Presently, about 20 professors work at ETH in risk-related topics and the new Chair will combine this knowledge in a comprehensive way."

Key element of Swiss Re's Global Risk Engagement initiative

The partnership with ETH Zurich is a key element of Swiss Re's Global Risk Engagement initiative, which recognises the fundamental changes in the global risk landscape and its societal responsibilities. The initiative is based on Swiss Re's risk management expertise and comprises selected partnerships to promote effective country risk management practices, support practical solutions for humanitarian challenges such as catastrophe prevention and instant disaster relief, as well as to develop new risk transfer solutions with governments and non-governmental organisations.

Notes to editors

Swiss Re

Swiss Re is a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer. The company operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re offers financial services products that enable risk-taking essential to enterprise and progress. The company's traditional reinsurance products and related services for property and casualty, as well as the life and health business are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated "AA-" by Standard, Poor's, "Aa2" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) has a student body of nearly 14,000 students from 80 nations. Nearly 360 professors teach mainly in engineering sciences and architecture, system-oriented sciences, mathematics and natural sciences, as well as carry out research that is highly valued worldwide. On a yearly basis, ETH Zurich applies for 80 -100 patents and directly supports the founding of up to 20 spin-off companies. Distinguished by the successes of 21 Nobel laureates, ETH Zurich is committed to providing its students with unparalleled education and outstanding leadership skills.

Media contact ETH Zurich:
Roman Klingler; Corporate Communications
T: +41 44 632 40 39; E-mail:

ETH Zurich Foundation

ETH Zurich Foundation is a non-profit organization aiming to strengthen education and research at ETH Zurich. For this purpose, the Foundation is seeking donations from individuals, corporations and other organizations. Donations are focused for strategic projects of ETH, and can also include financing professorships. Further information: