Speakers 2017

At the Swiss International Finance Forum 2017, around 20 national and international speakers will discuss the topic "Excellence in times of change".

The conference will be hosted by Melinda Crane.


                    Melinda Crane


Paul Achleitner

Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG

Dr. Paul Achleitner studied law and social sciences at the University of St. Gallen and Harvard Business School. After working in management consulting at Bain & Co., he held posts in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in New York and London, before becoming a partner and chairman of the bank›s German operation in 1994. Six years later, Dr. Achleitner, an Austrian citizen, joined the Management Board of what was then Allianz AG. Since 2012, he has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank AG. He also sits on the supervisory boards of Bayer AG and Daimler AG and is an honorary professor at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.


Urban Angehrn

Group Chief Investment Officer, Zurich

Urban Angehrn joined the Executive Committee as Group Chief Investment Officer in July 2015. He joined Zurich in 2007 as Regional Investment Manager Europe, worked from 2010 to 2012 as Head of Strategy Implementation and served then as Head of Alternative Investments. Before joining Zurich, he held various positions in the insurance and investment banking industries, including as the head of allocation & strategy in asset management at the Winterthur Group. He also served as an adviser to Swiss institutional clients in the use of derivatives, and held positions in derivatives marketing and fixed income sales at Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan. Urban Angehrn is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zurich Insurance Group Swiss Pension Plan. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University and a Master of Science in theoretical physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.


Henri Arslanian

FinTech & RegTech Leader for China/Hong Kong, PwC

Henri Arslanian is the FinTech & RegTech Leader for China/Hong Kong at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He is also an associate professor at Hong Kong University, where he leads the first FinTech university course in Asia. Henri is a lawyer and banker by background and recently was most recently with a RegTech start-up. In addition to his work at PwC, Henri is also a TEDx speaker, a published author and sits on several finance, academic, government, civil society, and FinTech-related boards. He is regularly featured in the media and has been awarded many finance and academic awards from the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal for Academic Excellence to being named as one of the Most Influential Individuals in FinTech in Asia.


Albert M. Baehny

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Geberit AG

Albert M. Baehny graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Fribourg. He began his career in 1979 in the research department of Serono-Hypolab. Over the course of more than 20 years, he gained extensive expertise with global business responsibility. Prior to moving to Geberit, Baehny was Senior Vice President of Wacker Specialties. At Geberit, he was Head of Group Division Marketing and Sales Europe from 2003 to 2004. Baehny was then CEO from 2005 up to the end of 2014, additionally becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors of the European market leader for sanitary products in 2011. He has also been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Basel-based asset management company Tareno since 2016.


Markus Brunnermeier

Professor of Economics, Princeton University

German economist Markus K. Brunnermeier was actually meant to take over the running of his family’s carpentry business. Instead, he found an interest in economics and went back to take his school-leaving examination before going on to study economics at the University of Regensburg, in Nashville and Bonn and at the London School of Economics. After earning his PhD, Brunnermeier moved to Princeton University, where he now works as a professor and as Director of the Bendheim Center of Finance. He specialises in international financial markets and macroeconomics, and his research topics include the origins of financial crises. He advises various institutions, such as the German Bundesbank, the IMF and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His book “The Euro and the Battle of Ideas” has received worldwide acclaim and was judged by Bloomberg and The Economist to be one of the best books of 2016.  


Susanna Chishti

CEO and founder, FINTECH Circle

Susanne Chishti is an entrepreneur and investor, as well as a mentor and judge at events like the Fintech Startup Bootcamp. She is featured on the list of the “100 leading women in FINTECH” and is one of the top 15 British Twitter influencers in the fintech sector. After obtaining a master’s degree from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and an MBA as part of the University of California’s exchange programme, she gained experience at Accenture, Morgan Stanley, the Lloyds Banking Group and Deutsche Bank in London and Hong Kong. In 2014, Chishti founded the FINTECH Circle, Europe’s leading angel network for fintech opportunities, which she runs as its CEO. She is also co-founder and chairwoman of FINTECH Circle Innovate and co-editor of the highly-acclaimed publication “The FINTECH Book”.


Martin Dahinden

Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America

Martin Dahinden studied economics at the University of Zurich (UZH). He worked as a research assistant for UZH, for a bank and for a publishing house. In 1987 he entered the diplomatic service, where he worked in various roles, including as a member of the Swiss Delegation to GATT in Geneva, at the embassies in Paris and Nigeria, and at the Swiss Mission to the UN in New York. He later served at the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Swiss Mission to NATO. Dahinden subsequently spent four years as Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining and a further four years as head of the Directorate for Resources at the FDFA, including responsibility for representations abroad. From 2008 he headed up the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), for seven years. Since November 2014 he has been the Swiss ambassador in Washington.


Jörg Gasser

State Secretary for International Financial Matters, Federal Department of Finance

Jörg Gasser studied economics and international relations at the University of Zurich. He then spent ten years working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in different countries of the Middle East. Between 1996 and 2007 he was responsible for leading many challenging negotiations in positions that included deputy chief delegate in Pakistan and Iraq and later division head in Geneva. In 2008, Jörg Gasser joined the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), first as an economic and financial affairs expert and later as Secretary General. In 2011, he moved to a new position as Secretary General of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), where he was appointed State Secretary for International Financial Matters in 2016.


Felix Haldner

President, Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association SFAMA

Felix Haldner is a partner and a member of the Executive Board of Partners Group, where he heads up the Investment Structures business department. He is a member of the Executive Committee and of the Global Executive Board. He has worked at Partners Group since 2001 and has 29 years of professional experience. Before joining Partners Group he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a master’s degree in business law from the University of St Gallen (HSG) and is a Certified Swiss Tax Expert. He is President of the Swiss Funds and Asset Management Association SFAMA.


Philipp Hildebrand

Vice-Chairman, BlackRock

The economist and political scientist Philipp Hildebrand received a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1994. After completing his studies he began his professional career at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva. He then took on various positions at US asset manager and hedge fund Moore Capital Management, Bank Vontobel and Union Bancaire Privée, where he served on the Executive Board as Chief Investment Officer. From 2003, Philipp Hildebrand was a member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank and was Chairman of its Governing Board from 2010 to 2012. In 2011, “The Banker” magazine named him Central Bank Governor of the Year in recognition of his strong leadership during the financial crisis. Since 2012 he has been Vice-Chairman of BlackRock.


Thomas Jordan

Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank

Prof. Dr. Thomas Jordan studied economics at the University of Berne. He received his PhD in 1993 and subsequently wrote his post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation) during a three-year research period at Harvard University. In 1997 he joined the Swiss National Bank as an economic advisor, and in 2002 became head of the research unit. In he was appointed to the Governing Board as a member, and in 2010 he became its Vice-Chairman. Thomas Jordan has been Chairman of the Governing Board since 2012. An expert on monetary policy and theory, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Steering Committee of the Financial Stability Board (FSB). He is also the Swiss governor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


Walter B. Kielholz

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Swiss Re

After graduating from the University of St Gallen, Walter Kielholz began his career at the General Reinsurance Corporation in Zurich, and later the US, UK and Italy. In 1986 he moved to Credit Suisse, where he was responsible for relation­ships with large insurance groups. He joined Swiss Re in 1989 and four years later became a member of the Executive Board. From 1997 to 2002 he was CEO of the company. Kielholz then spent the next seven years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse. Since 1998, he has been first a member and then the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss Re. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Institute of International Finance and a member of the Board of Trustees of Avenir Suisse.


Romeo Lacher

Chairman of the Board of Directors, SIX  

Dr. Romeo Lacher holds a graduate degree and PhD in business administration from the University of St Gallen. Since 1990 he has worked at Credit Suisse in various management roles, including head of Private Banking Europe and Chief Operating Officer of the International Wealth Management division. He joined the Board of Directors of SIX Group in 2008 became Chairman and in January 2017, having chaired the Board on an interim basis since 2016. Romeo Lacher has worked with dedication for many years to deliver a strong financial market infrastructure in Switzerland. Before becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIX, he spent many years as a board member at both Swisscard AECS and Bank-now.


Michael Loretan

Member of the Executive Board, FINMA

Dr. Michael Loretan studied law at the University of Zurich, graduating in 1992. He was subsequently admitted to the bar, awarded a doctorate and obtained a degree in economics from the University of St. Gallen. Dr. Loretan began his professional career at the Homburger law firm, and then became a partner and head of Legal and Compliance at PBS Privat Bank Schweiz AG. He was subsequently appointed CEO at Redsafe Bank. From 2005, he held a senior management post in Risk and Compliance at UBS AG. Dr. Loretan began working at the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in 2011 as Head of the Credit Suisse Group Supervisory Team. In 2014, he was appointed a member of the Executive Board and Head of the Asset Management division.


Urs Rohner

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Credit Suisse Group AG

Urs Rohner has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG since 2011. His other roles include Vice-Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association and board member of both the Institute of International Finance and GlaxoSmithKline plc. Previously he was Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG and was a member of its Executive Board, on which he served as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. From 2000 to 2004 he was Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG. Rohner began his career as a lawyer in Zurich and New York. He received a master’s degree in law from the University of Zurich in 1983.


Herbert J. Scheidt

Chairman, Swiss Bankers Association (SBA)

Herbert J. Scheidt studied economics at the University of Sussex (UK) before obtaining an MBA from the University of New York. He began his career at Deutsche Bank in 1982, and up until 1996 worked in various roles in Germany, New York, Milan and Geneva. Subsequently, he spent six years as head of Deutsche Bank’s international private banking business. From 2002 to 2011, Herbert Scheidt was CEO of Vontobel Holding AG and Bank Vontobel AG, and he has been the company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2011. In 2016 he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). He also sits on the boards of directors of SIX Group and Helvetia.


Jürgen Stark

Economist, former Chief Economist of the European Central Bank

Prof. Jürgen Stark studied economics at Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and at the University of Hohenheim, achieving a doctorate in the subject. After his studies, he worked at the German Federal Ministry of Economics, Federal Chancellery and Federal Ministry of Finance, where as State Secretary he played a key role in the introduction of the euro. In 1998, Stark became Vice-Chairman of the German Bundesbank. From 2006 he spent six years at the European Central Bank as a member of the Executive Board, member of the Governing Council and Chief Economist. In 2012 he stepped down voluntarily from his position, as he was unhappy with the ECB’s policy direction. Jürgen Stark is Honorary Professor at Eberhard Karls University and a member of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Board of Trustees.


Huw van Steenis

Global Head of Strategy, Schroders

Huw van Steenis is Global Head of Strategy and member of the Group Management Committee, Schroders.   He joined from Morgan Stanley where he was Global Head, Banks and Financials Research where he and his teams won numerous investment awards including being voted #1 in investor surveys 12 times, twice Starmine’s stock picker of the year and a Dow Jones Financial News award in 2009 for his work on the banking crisis and policy response.  He serves on the Board of the English National Opera and the World Economic Forum’s Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services Group and previously their Agenda Council for Banking.   He also sits on the ECB’s Macroprudential Policies and Financial Stability Contact Group and the Institute of International Finance’s Market Monitoring Group.


Axel A. Weber

Chairman of the Board of Directors, UBS Group AG

Axel A. Weber has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS Group AG since 2012. He is chairman of the Institute of International Finance and president of the International Monetary Conference, as well as a board member of the Swiss Bankers Association and a member of the Group of Thirty, among others. From 2004 to 2011, Axel Weber was president of the German Bundesbank, a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements, German governor of the International Monetary Fund and a member of the G7 and G20 Ministers and Governors. He received his habilitation for his post-doctoral thesis in economics from the University of Siegen and was a professor at several universities.

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