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Deutsche Bank’s Ackermann Becomes Chairman of Zurich Financial

Josef Ackermann, who steps down as chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) at the end of May, was named chairman of Zurich Financial Services AG (ZURN), the biggest Swiss insurer.

Shareholders re-elected the 64-year-old Swiss native to the insurer’s board of directors for another three years at the company’s annual general meeting in Zurich today. The new board met afterward and voted in Ackermann as chairman, replacing Manfred Gentz, and named Tom de Swaan as his deputy.

Ackermann will take up the position when he leaves Deutsche Bank, after a decade as CEO in which he transformed Germany’s largest lender into an international investment bank. He dropped plans to head the bank’s supervisory board after his efforts to help policy makers solve Europe’s debt crisis didn’t give him the time to win shareholder support, Ackermann said in November.

“The insurance industry is a very interesting one,” said Ackermann in an interview at the general meeting. “In the end, the problems that you have to discuss in an industrial enterprise, a bank or in an insurer are not so different at all.”

Shareholders also approved the insurer’s name change to Zurich Insurance Group AG. The change will take place in the course of next week, according to spokeswoman Sylvia Gaeumann.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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