Helvetia chairman resigns amid ongoing FINMA probe

Vincenz cited FINMA’s ongoing investigation against him as the reason for his resignation. Keystone

The chairman of the Swiss insurance company Helvetia, Pierin Vincenz, has resigned. The Swiss financial regulator, FINMA, is currently investigating his activities during his time in charge of the Raiffeisen bank.

In a statement released on Monday, Helvetia said Vincenz had stepped down with immediate effect.

He had been a member of the Helvetia board since 2000 and chairman since October 2015.

Vincenz cited FINMA’s ongoing investigation against him as the reason for his resignation. FINMA has launched a corporate governance investigation against Raiffeisen, Switzerland’s biggest mortgage lender, and is also probing Vincenz’s activities during his 20-year career at the bank; he was director general from 1999 to 2015. The allegations against him concern potential conflicts of interest and questions surrounding his links to Nadja Ceregato, Raiffeisen’s current chief legal compliance officer, and Vincenz’s wife.

“In the last few days, it has become clear that the FINMA proceedings cannot be accelerated and thus will not be concluded until the next Shareholders’ Meeting at Helvetia in April 2018,” Vincenz said in the statement.

“The ongoing uncertainty and the repercussions in the media, which these proceedings entail, have therefore led me to step down with immediate effect in the interests of the company. Helvetia can then plan my successor unencumbered.”

Helvetia says it remains unaffected by the FINMA investigation which does not cover Vincenz’s work for the insurer. The company announced that Vincenz’s deputy, Doris Russi Schurter, will take over temporarily until Vincenz’s successor is decided on April 20, 2018. 


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