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Starting on 1 April 2024, Stefan Walter will lead FINMA as CEO. He replaces Urban Angehrn, who left at the end of September 2023, and Birgit Rutishauser, who is in charge of operations in an acting capacity as interim CEO.

Since 2014, German national Walter, served as the European Central Bank’s (ECB) director general. There, he was first in charge of the eurozone’s systemic bank oversight. Among them were nine globally significant banks (G-SIBs). He spent six years as the division’s head.

Walter was in charge of the ECB’s horizontal risk supervision starting in 2020. This included creating and carrying out stress tests in addition to covering all risk categories, with a focus on credit and liquidity issues. 

Additionally, Walter was employed by Ernst & Young for two years as the Global Bank Regulatory and Supervisory Policy Network Leader prior to joining the European Central Bank. He also served as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s Secretary General from 2006 to 2011.

Furthermore, Walter oversaw the international talks on regulatory changes in this capacity during the global financial crisis, with the goal of fortifying the financial system.

Formerly, he worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a variety of capacities, most recently as senior vice president in charge of financial stability, supervisory policy, and financial analysis.

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Marlene Amstad, chair of FINMA’s board of directors commented: “FINMA is gaining an experienced leader in Stefan Walter with a wealth of international financial market experience in banking supervision. Particularly his knowledge in the area of large bank supervision and his links to international supervisory authorities will be a great asset for FINMA’s supervision of the systemically important Swiss banks. The board of directors is delighted that Stefan Walter will bolster and lead FINMA’s executive board in its efforts to achieve effective supervision and regulation of the Swiss financial market.”

Until 31 March 2024, Rutishauser will continue to serve as acting CEO.