Download PDF

René Manser

Reviewing a new professional challenge


Allround manager with proven track record in the application of Enterprise-wide Risk Management and as project & program manager. Operatioal leadership of an asset management company (Compliance, Risk Management, Process Management, Portfolio Management Reporting, Finance). Broad experience as underwriter of diverse specialties insurance coverages and as corporate insurance buyer.

Executive with leadership in the application of Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management

  • Implemented the Enterprise Risk Management framework (SOX/COSO) to an integrated risk & control identification, measurement and benchmarking function. This also included the centralized monitoring and reporting of outsourcing, business continuity managemnt and project risks
  • Assumed full responsibility for compliance at the asset management company which included Anti-Money Laundering, Know Your Customer, Cross Border, Suitability & Approprietness, as well as developments deriving from Mifid II/Fedleg to implement appropriate actions to adjust the business model to the changing environment 
  • Rolled out the Operational Risk quantification approach with quality controls to prepare the functional units for subsequent process reengineering activities
  • Created the first quantification tool allowing stochastic modeling of strategic and operational risks using expert opinion which has been successfully applied to banks and corporates 
  • Spearheaded the design and establishment of a new project risk management approach to substantially improve the transparency of inherent project risks

Business Leader with a high level of accountability who identifies deficiencies, crafts solutions and spearheads initiatives to sustainable solutions

  • Led, trained and developed international teams of risk specialists in implementing a shared service platform and developing a new business operating model to enhance efficiency through process industrialization
  • Initialized and lead lobbying efforts with the Bank of International Settlements for their introduction of new operational risk capital requirements
  • Public speaker on strategic and operational risk management

Insurance underwriting professional and corporate insurance buyer

  • Consolidated Zurich’s locally purchased insurance coverages to a comprehensive group solution (Director’s and Officer’s Liability, Property & Casualty, Professional Indemnity, Crime, and Fiduciary Liability) whereby achieving substantial premium savings every single year
  • Established a highly profitable financial institutions underwriting unit for Director’s & Officers Liability, Bankers Blanket Bonds, Computer Crime and Professional Indemnity and lead the Center of Excellence within the European network
  • Led the governance function of diversified specialties products (M&A insurance, surety, film production insurance, Tender Exchange Rate Indemnity)

Multifaceted professional who actively faces challenges, quickly assesses situations and develops/implements action plans to drive sustainable performance. Problem solver who willingly accepts difficult assignments.  Skilled in negotiating complex business transactions. Experienced in working in a multicultural business environment.

Linked-in and XING Profile


Nov 2014Present

Senior Consultant

Cogito Projects AG, Zürich (project management consultancy
  • Mandated as project leader in a Derivatives Regulatory Reform (US Dodd Frank) initiative within a major Swiss bank
May 2010Feb 2014

Operating Officer (COO)

Finaport Ltd., Zurich
  • General management of the operation including financial accounting, compliance and business risk management
  • Growing the business through searching for and integrating new independent investment advisers and teams of asset managers into the organization
Jan 2010Apr 2010

Solvency II consultant, term contracting consultant

Aspen Insurance, London & Zurich
  • Consulting advice and initiating projects to enhance the risk management framework in achieving Solvency II compliance for the Group in the target areas of Operational and Strategic Risk Management as well as risk policy development

Divisional Chief Risk Officer, General Insurance Europe

Zurich Insurance Company, Zurich
  • Managed the centrally coordinated European Shared Service platform on risk & control (including Business Continuity Management) and ensured best practice exchange
  • Enforced the group’s Corporate Governance standards through the roll-out of the Risk Policy Adherence process as well as through Management Audit Risk and Control Committees
  • Led the consolidation and renewal management of all Zurich Financial Services group’s own insurance programs and established a captive facility in Bermuda
2007Sep 2009

Divisional Chief Risk Officer, International Businesses

Zurich Financial Services, Zurich
  • Institutionalized the integrated Risk Management Framework according to Solvency II across the functional units and enforced the group’s Corporate Governance standards in terms of risk identification, measurement and reporting
  • Developed a new assessment tool to support M&A due-diligence as well as the subsequent integration process from a risk management perspective and participated in due-diligence reviews for M&A transactions

Head of Group Risk Management Policy

Zurich Insurance Company, Zurich
  • Maintained and renewed the Zurich Risk Policy in collaboration with corporate center specialist input
  • Coordinated the group’s risk identification process, consolidation of results and continuous methodological quality improvement
  • Assumed management responsibility for the group’s D&O coverage to restructure the overall program in light of the company’s market position

Head of Continental European Operations and Global Head of Financial Institutions Practice

Zurich IC Squared, Zurich (100 % subsidiary of Zurich Insurance)
  • Set-up and managed a consulting practice in the area of Strategic and Operational Risk Management with focus on Basel II for banks and Strategic Risk Management for global corporates
  • Advised financial institutions in the implementation of an operational risk management framework in accordance with the Basel II requirements and corporates in the setup for a firm-wide risk management approach
1992May 2004

Head of Financial Institutions / Surety, Corporate Customer Division

Zurich Insurance Company, Zurich
  • Led the European underwriting Center of Excellence at Head Office for the referral and approval of transactions which exceeded the local authority.
  • Technical auditing of the portfolios throughout the European underwriting network.
  • Team leader underwriting for the financial services industry (European top 200 institutions) involving Director’s & Officers Liability, Professional Indemnity, Bankers Blanket Bond, Computer Crime and Pension Trust Liability including structuring of transactions combining Property and Casualty coverages to international programs.
  • Underwriting of Director's & Officer's Liability coverage for large international corporate clients
  • Surety Bonding for Fortune 500 customers

Assistant Vice President at the corporate lending division

Swiss Bank Corporation, Basle, Geneva, New York, Zurich
  • Corporate lending officer at the Zurich Main Branch and in Duebendorf
  • Corporate lending to Fortune 500 clients in the set-up of leveraged-buyout transactions where the bank was acting as lead or co-lead manager
  • Capital Markets / Syndication Department (Basel), Securities and Syndication Department (Geneva), Apprenticeship (Basel)


Risk Management in the insurance industry, certified correspondence course (2005)

Betriebsökonom KSZ, Kaderschule Zürich, Zurich (1991)

Executive Program, J.L Kellog Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago, (1995)

Professionals Certificate in Banking, American Institute of Banking, New York (1987)

Registered Representative, Securities broker license, New York Institute of Finance New York, (1985)

Project List

Talent Check

You may read or download my talent check by clicking on the link below

Team Dimension Profile

Team Dimension Profile overview formerly known as "Innovate with C.A.R.E."  

Lecturing activities

Engagements as speaker on national and international conferences

Published articles

Der Kunde als Partner Neues Marktsegment Von externen Daten lernen Unternehmensrisiken steuern

Operational- and Project Risk Management

Presentations on the topic of operational risk and project risk