Michel Liès has been Chairman of Zurich Insurance since April 2018. He has deep experience of the insurance sector, having spent over 4 decades with Swiss Re – including as Group CEO from 2012 until his retirement from the company in 2016. He describes global insurance as his ‘love at first sight’, combining his Mathematics education -gained in France and ETH Zurich – and the excitement of international business.
Originally from Luxembourg, Mr Liès has a passionately international outlook, speaks six languages and has lived and worked in many different parts of the world. He started his professional career in charge of the financial department of an industrial company in Brazil. He then joined Swiss Re, which took him across Latin America and Europe. Later, he took an ambassadorial role as Chairman of Swiss Re Global Partnerships. This involved cultivating long-term relationships with public and third sector stakeholders globally to jointly find solutions for global risks and insurance inclusion in developing countries. He also served as Chairman of the Global Reinsurance Forum.
Today, Mr Liès continues to shape the insurance sector’s strategic direction, and is a vocal proponent of its role in addressing Sustainability challenges. He is a member of the Institute of International Finance Board, European Financial Services Roundtable, World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen and the Insurance Development Forum’s Steering Group. Beside a passion for theater and history, Mr Liès is also actively engaged in Swiss cultural and societal issues, including as Board member of the Lucerne Festival Board, SIAF and Avenir Suisse.
He is married and has two children and two grand-children.