Problems at Swiss Life PE

Swiss Life Private Equity has lost two of its four executive directors. Dominik Meyer and Michael Miller left the group at the beginning of February over differing views on how to run the business. The future of Swiss Life’s private equity activity is up in the air as the parent company has decided it wants to refocus on its core business of insurance, according to a spokesperson.

Both of Swiss Life’s listed fund-of-funds vehicles are struggling and have posted disappointing results for the first nine months of the financial year 2002/2003. Private Equity Holding has seen its fair value per share drop from CHF213.52 to CHF154.60. While Swiss Life’s Eastern European vehicle 5E Holding reported a consolidated net loss of CHF8.3 million and fair value per share declining by 11.5 per cent to CHF169.52.

The departures leave the future of the group in the hands of chief executive David Salim and Andrea Gambazzi. Last year Swiss Life Private Equity also saw the departure of two of its investment managers – Ralph Aerni, a specialist in buyout funds, and Yves Huwyler, responsible for biotechnology fund investments.

Since 1997, Swiss Life has committed over €0.8 billion in 50 partnerships and seven direct investments. The group continues to seek and manage investments now with a team of 27 based in Zurich and Cayman.