Swiss Life

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Swiss Life Holding AG
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1857; 165 years ago (1857)
FounderConrad Widmer
Area served
Mostly Europe
Key people
Patrick Frost (CEO), Rolf Dörig (Chairman)
ProductsLife insurance, risk, pensions and other financial services, Asset management,
Health insurance (France only)
RevenueIncreaseCHF 20.188 bn (2021)[1]
IncreaseCHF 1.81 bn (2021)[1]
IncreaseCHF 1.26 bn (2021)[1]
AUMIncreaseCHF 276.3 bn (2021)[1]
Total equityIncreaseCHF 16.5 bn (2021)[1]
Number of employees
10,000 (FTE, 2021)[1]
  • Swiss Life Switzerland
  • Swiss Life France
  • Swiss Life Germany
  • Swiss Life International
  • Swiss Life Asset Managers
  • Swiss Life Select Switzerland
  • Swiss Life Select Germany
  • Swiss Life Select Austria
  • Swiss Life Select Czech Republic
  • Livit AG (Switzerland)
  • Corpus Sireo (Germany)
  • Tecis (Germany)
  • HORBACH (Germany)
  • Proventus (Germany)
  • Chase de Vere (UK)
  • Mayfair Capital (UK)
  • BEOS (Germany)
  • Fincentrum (Czech Republic / Slovakia)

The Swiss Life Group is the largest life insurance company of Switzerland and one of Europe’s leading comprehensive life and pensions and financial services providers, with approximately CHF 276.3 bn of assets under management.[2] Founded in 1867 in Zurich as the Schweizerische Lebensversicherungs und Rentenanstalt cooperative, the company entered the Swiss stock market in 1997 and adopted its current name in 2002. In 2021 the group declared an adjusted profit from operations of CHF 1.81 billion, a 15% decrease compared to the previous year. Net profit increased by 20% to CHF 1.3 billion.[2] Swiss Life is one of the twenty companies listed under the Swiss Market Index, as SLHN.[3]


Foundation and growth[edit]

Conrad Widmer established the Schweizerische Rentenanstalt ("Swiss annuity institution") in 1857 as the first life insurance company in Switzerland,[4] backed by guarantees from Schweizerische Kreditanstalt.[5] Prominent Zurich politician Alfred Escher was closely involved in the development of the cooperative, whose goal was to provide Swiss families with insurance against the uncertainties of life: the company's board included representatives of most Swiss cantons.[6] In 1866, Widmer obtained a license in Prussia,[7] and a year later, the Rentenanstalt had business operations in Hamburg and Bremen. Beginning in 1894, it was one of the first insurance institutions to offer occupational insurance[clarification needed]. Between 1866 and 1987, Rentenanstalt expanded to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Spain, Luxembourg, and Italy. In 1988 it took over La Suisse insurance company of Lausanne.

The first registered office of Rentenanstalt was in the Tiefenhoefe buildings on the Paradeplatz in Zurich. Rapid expansion saw the offices moving in quick succession from the Gruene Schloss on Zwingliplatz, to the Chamhaus on the Untere Zäune and finally to the Alpenquai, where the new head office was opened in 1898. Although this building was spacious for its time, further expansion in the interwar period necessitated yet another move. During 1937–1939 a modern building designed by the Pfister firm of architects was constructed close to the old head office. It is this building, extended during 1961–1963 and later, that houses today's company head office in Zurich.[8]

Going corporate[edit]

In 1997, under the management of Manfred Zobl, Rentenanstalt changed from a mutual into a publicly traded proprietary company,[9] with Rentenstalt/Swiss Life shares debuting in the Swiss Market Index in 1998. Swiss Life then embarked on an expansionary strategy, acquiring Livit, Banca del Gottardo, the Lloyd Continental and UTO Albis in 1999, and Schweizerische Treuhandgesellschaft in 2000, and taking over the real estate properties of Oscar Weber Holding AG in 2001. In 2002, the rapid acquisitions ceased as the company looked to restructuring and going back to its core business.[5]

Acquisitions and divestments[edit]

In 2002, the company changed its name to Swiss Life for all its operations except in the Netherlands, where it remained under the old name Zwitser Leven (Dutch for "Swiss Life"); the Netherlands company was sold in 2007 to SNS Reaal together with the Belgium business.[10][11] In 2004, it sold its British operations to Resolution Life Group.[12] In November 2007, Swiss Life sold off Banca del Gottardo for 1.775 billion CHF.[13] On 3 December 2007, Swiss Life announced that it had launched a takeover bid for AWD Holding; on 13 March 2008, it succeeded in acquiring a total of 86.2% of AWD,[14] which became Swiss Life Select in 2013. The acquisition of Corpus Sireo, a German real estate asset management service provider, was completed in the summer of 2014,[15] and that of Mayfair Capital, a UK real estate investment management firm, in 2016.[3] In 2021, Swiss Life Asset Managers acquired the real estate business of Ness, Risan & Partners, a provider of real estate projects and funds in the Nordic region.[16]

Corporate structure[edit]

The Swiss Life Group reports by country. Besides the three core markets Switzerland, France and Germany, the Group separately discloses its cross-border segments International and Asset Managers.[17]


Swiss Life Switzerland is a comprehensive life and pensions and financial service provider with the brands Swiss Life and Swiss Life Select, and is one of the leading providers with over one million insured persons.[18]


Swiss Life France specialises in personal insurance but also provides, through its Swiss Life Banque Privée subsidiary, asset management and insurance services combined with private banking for high net worth individuals.


The German branch of Swiss Life, founded in 1866, is based in Munich and offers private and corporate clients services in pensions saving and financial security. Core competencies are occupational disability insurance and occupational pensions. Swiss Life's financial distribution subsidiaries (Swiss Life Select, HORBACH, Tecis and Proventus) are headquartered in Hanover.


With locations in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Singapore, Swiss Life International offers Private placement life insurance (a form of investment with an insurance wrapper) for high-net-worth individuals in Europe and Asia, and provides employee benefits for large corporate clients. The financial advisors from Swiss Life Select Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Chase de Vere in the UK also operate under the Swiss Life International umbrella.

Asset Managers[edit]

Swiss Life Asset Managers offers institutional and private investors access to investment and asset management services. In Switzerland, it is one of the largest institutional asset managers and the third largest fund provider in the country.[19] In Germany, Swiss Life Asset Managers significantly strengthened its position in the market with the acquisition of the real estate asset management service provider Corpus Sireo in 2014.[15] The real estate management company Livit AG is also a subsidiary of the Swiss Life Asset Management entity, along with London-based Mayfair Capital Investment which was acquired in 2016.[3] In 2018, Swiss Life Asset Managers acquired the German real estate company BEOS AG and in 2019 Fontavis, an investment manager for clean energy and infrastructure funds.[20][21]

Corporate governance[edit]

Board of directors[edit]

The board of directors is responsible for the general direction of the Group and the supervision of the Corporate Executive Board. The Board is elected for one-year terms and is composed as follows:[22]

Board composition
Position Name Year appointed
Chairman Rolf Dörig 2002
Vice-chairman Klaus Tschütscher 2013
Member Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli 2014
Member Ueli Dietiker 2013
Member Damir Filipovic 2011
Member Frank W. Keuper 2013
Member Stefan Loacker 2017
Member Henry Peter 2006
Member Martin Schmid 2018
Member Franziska Tschudi Sauber 2003
Member Thomas Buess 2019
Member Monika Bütler 2022

Corporate executive board[edit]

The group CEO directs the business operations of the group and works out the long-term objectives and strategic orientation of the group, together with the corporate executive board.[23]

  • Group CEO: Patrick Frost
  • Group CFO: Matthias Aellig
  • Group CIO: Stefan Mächler
  • CEO Switzerland: Markus Leibundgut
  • CEO France: Tanguy Polet
  • CEO Germany: Jörg Arnold
  • CEO International: Nils Frowein


According to Swiss law, shareholders are obliged to disclose information regarding their shareholdings in Swiss-based companies when these amount to or exceed 3%.[24] Shareholders currently holding registered shares (purchasing positions included) of Swiss Life Holding Ltd., are BlackRock Inc. (over 5%), and UBS Fund Management (Switzerland) AG (over 3%).[25]

CSR and sponsorship[edit]

The “Perspectives Foundation” of Swiss Life, established in 2005, promotes charitable initiatives in the Swiss home market in the areas of health, science, education, culture and sport, donating between CHF 1.3 and 1.5 million every year to social and charitable projects.[26][27]

Swiss Life also jointly founded the Swiss Climate Foundation with eleven other companies in 2008. All partners donate their net gains from redistributed CO2 levies to the foundation, which in turns supports projects helping small and medium-sized enterprises to reach voluntary target agreement with the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW), develop operational energy savings and climate protection systems.

In March 2016, the Swiss Life Group presented its first Corporate Responsibility Report[28][29] in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), as an integral part of the Annual Report 2015. The Corporate Responsibility Report focuses on business activities, society, employees and the environment and is guided by the principle of materiality. The report is published annually.

From 2004 to 2020, Swiss Life sponsored the Swiss national football team.[30]

In the field of culture, Swiss Life supports, among others, the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF),[31] the Lucerne Festival, the Zurich Opera House, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Davos Festival.[32]

Since the 2015/16 season, Swiss Life has been supporting the ice hockey club ZSC Lions as general sponsor.[33] The Swiss Life Arena, the hockey and sports arena for 12,000 fans of the ZCS Lions club in Altstetten, is also named after Swiss Life. The opening is scheduled for June 2022.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Swiss Life increases net profit in 2021 by 20% to CHF 1257 million – the fee result rises to CHF 699 million".
  2. ^ a b "Annual result 2020".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c "Swiss Life Asset Managers to acquire Mayfair Capital". Property Funds World. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  4. ^ Christian Baertschi (29 October 2013). "Widmer, Johann Conrad". Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  5. ^ a b Bernard Degen (23 December 2011). "Rentenanstalt". Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  6. ^ Chronik der Stadt und des Bezirkes Zürich, Zürich 1964, S. 624f
  7. ^ 150 years of Swiss Life (PDF). Swiss Life. 2012.
  8. ^ Chronik der Stadt und des Bezirkes Zürich, Zürich 1964, S. 624f.
  9. ^ "Die Rentenanstalt geht gestärkt ihren Weg" (in German). 28 April 2001.
  10. ^ NRC Handelsblad, SNS Reaal koopt Zwitserleven, 19 November 2007 klik hier voor artikel, geraadpleegd op 9 November 2012
  11. ^ "SNS Reaal koopt Zwitserleven". NRC Handelsblad. 19 November 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  12. ^ Goellner, Philipp (9 December 2004). "Swiss Life to Sell U.K. Unit for 205 Million Pounds". Bloomberg. Retrieved 1 March 2009.
  13. ^ "Medienmitteilung von Swiss Life zum Verkauf der Banca del Gottardo". Archived from the original on 8 November 2007.
  14. ^ "Swiss Life hält 86,2% an AWD". 19 March 2008. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008.
  15. ^ a b "Swiss Life boucle le rachat de l'allemand Corpus Sireo". 24 heures (in French). 1 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Swiss Life Asset Managers acquires the real estate business of Ness, Risan & Partners, a leading provider of real estate projects and funds in the Nordics".
  17. ^ "Annual Report 2017 > Segment reporting". Swiss Life.
  18. ^ "Case study". Branders. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Swiss asset manager tables 2017". IPE reference hub. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Swiss Life completes acquisition of BEOS". Bloomberg. 31 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Swiss Life acquires clean energy infrastructure fund manager Fontavis". IPE Real Assets. 25 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Board of Directors". Swiss Life.
  23. ^ "Corporate executive board". Swiss Life.
  24. ^ Federal Act on Stock Exchanges and Securities Trading (PDF). Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation. p. 8.
  25. ^ "Major shareholders". Swiss Life. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Swiss Life - Annual Report 2017 - Responsibility in society". Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  27. ^ "Swiss Life > Gemeinnütziges Engagement > Stiftung Perspektiven". Swiss Life. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  28. ^ "Swiss Life Holding - Corporate Responsibility Report 2015". Sustainability Disclosure Database. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  29. ^ "Corporate Responsibility". Swiss Life. 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  30. ^ "Swiss Life > Sponsoring > Fussball". (in German). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  31. ^ "Swiss Life > Sponsoring > Film". (in German). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  32. ^ "Swiss Life > Sponsoring > Klassische Musik". (in German). Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  33. ^ "Swiss Life verlängert ihr Engagement | ZSC Lions". (in German). Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  34. ^ "FAQ". Swiss Life Arena (in German). Retrieved 13 March 2019.

Coordinates: 47°21′46″N 8°32′03″E / 47.36278°N 8.53417°E / 47.36278; 8.53417