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Stefan Walter Appointed as FINMA's New CEO

25 January 2024 | Legal Alerts
Stefan Walter has been selected as the incoming CEO of FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. His appointment has received the formal approval of the Federal Council and is set to commence on April 1, 2024. Until that date, Birgit Rutishauser will continue to serve as the interim CEO.
Stefan Walter will officially assume the role of FINMA's CEO on April 1, 2024, succeeding Urban Angehrn, who retired at the end of September 2023. In the interim, Birgit Rutishauser is managing the organization's operations as the acting CEO. The Board of Directors embarked on an extensive search process to identify the new CEO, and the appointment has been ratified by the Federal Council today.
Stefan Walter, a 59-year-old German national, has an extensive and distinguished career in financial supervision and regulation. He served as the Director General at the European Central Bank (ECB) from 2014. Initially, his role involved overseeing systemic banks within the eurozone, including nine globally significant banks classified as G-SIBs. He led this division for six years. Starting in 2020, he assumed responsibility for horizontal risk supervision at the ECB, encompassing various risk categories, notably credit and liquidity risks, along with the development and implementation of stress tests.
Before the European Central Bank, Stefan Walter held the position of Global Bank Regulatory and Supervisory Policy Network Leader at Ernst & Young for two years. His role involved navigating global banking regulatory and supervisory policies. From 2006 to 2011, he served as the Secretary General of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. During this critical period, Stefan Walter played a pivotal role in coordinating international negotiations aimed at implementing regulatory reforms in response to the global financial crisis, to fortify the global financial system.

Before these roles, Stefan Walter held various positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, culminating in his role as Senior Vice President responsible for supervisory policy, financial analysis, and financial stability.

Stefan Walter's academic background includes studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University, where he earned a master's degree in International Banking and Finance. His rich experience and expertise make him a notable figure in the field of financial regulation and supervision.
Marlene Amstad, Chair of FINMA's Board of Directors, expressed her satisfaction with the appointment of Stefan Walter.
Stefan Walter is an experienced leader in international banking supervision. His extensive background in banking supervision, particularly in overseeing large banks, and his strong connections with international supervisory bodies, make him a valuable addition to FINMA's leadership team. Marlene Amstad believes that his expertise will greatly benefit FINMA's oversight of Switzerland's systemically important banks. She also emphasized the Board of Directors' enthusiasm for Stefan Walter's role in strengthening and guiding FINMA's Executive Board towards achieving effective supervision and regulation in the Swiss financial market.
Birgit Rutishauser will continue to serve as interim CEO until March 31, 2024. Marlene Amstad expressed her gratitude on behalf of the entire Board of Directors for Birgit Rutishauser's exceptional work and unwavering dedication during her work as interim CEO. She also extended her appreciation to the entire Executive Board for their dedication in maintaining operations during this transitional phase.

1. https://www.finma.ch/en/news/2024/01/20240124-mm-direktor-finma/


This legal alert provides a general overview of the topic and should not be considered legal advice. Legal situations may vary, and businesses should consult with legal professionals to address their specific concerns.
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