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Aigrain steps down as Swiss Re CEO

The chief executive of Swiss Re, Jacques Aigrain, has resigned, a week after the company projected a net loss of SFr1 billion ($860,000) for 2008.

At the same time as last week's news, the troubled Zurich-based reinsurer also announced that United States investor Warren Buffett was injecting new capital of SFr3 billion into the group.

Swiss Re said on Thursday that deputy CEO Stefan Lippe had been appointed to replace Aigrain.

"Having taken measures to reinforce the group's capital strength and further de-risk its investment portfolio, the interests of Swiss Re are now best served by a change in executive leadership," Aigrain said in a statement.

It added that Lippe had been the architect of Swiss Re's focus on disciplined, quality underwriting in the reinsurance business.

"I am clear about the challenges that Swiss Re needs to address," said Lippe, a 53-year-old German.

"Our core re/insurance portfolio is sound. We are focused on meeting our clients' needs, creating shareholder value and providing quality career opportunities in a stimulating environment."

Swiss Re shares have lost almost two-thirds of their value since the beginning of the year, underperforming the world's biggest reinsurance, Munich Re.

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