The D&O Diary’s European assignment continued this week with a stop in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city and one of the world’s leading financial centers, for meetings and an event there. I was fortunate that the beautiful weather I enjoyed in Lucerne followed me to Zurich. Even though I had many meetings scheduled throughout my time in Zurich, I still did have a little bit of a chance to enjoy the city, as shown in the pictures below.
The main purpose for my trip to Zurich was to participate as a speaker in the Financial Lines Forum, a D&O and financial lines-focused conference event held in the close-in Zurich suburb of Oerlikon. The event was very organized and very well attended, with audience members not just from around Switzerland, but also from Germany, Austria and Spain. There were over 170 attendees at the event. It was a pleasure to have the chance to participate in this first-time event, which appears to have been quite a success. I also enjoyed the chance to meet so many of the other attendees and to talk with them about the D&O market in Switzerland and throughout Europe.
I also participated in an afternoon roundtable event held in Zurich center city, in a beautiful ornate and historic former guild house, the Zunfthaus zur Meisen. The roundtable event involved a discussion of current D&O insurance issues in a smaller, less formal format. During the roundtable, I participated as a panelist with Hendrik Jauer of Axa XL and Dr. Jodok Wicki of the CMS von Erlach Poncet AG law firm. It quite an enjoyable and interactive discussion, in a very beautiful setting.
Both the Financial Lines Forum and the roundtable discussion were organized by Markus Haefeli and Peter Schroeder of Haefeli & Schroeder Financial Lines AG. I congratulate Markus and Peter on these very successful events, and I am grateful to them for inviting me to Zurich to participate in these events.
One other great thing I was able to do while in Zurich was to have dinner with several of my friends from Swiss Re, many of whom I met for the first time in my prior visit to Zurich in August 2017. We had a very enjoyable dinner at Haute, private club restaurant on the top floor of the Hochhaus zur Schanze building in the Zurich central city. The restaurant affords great views of the lake and of the mountains beyond. It was a very pleasant evening with great conversation among good friends.
While my schedule in Zurich was busy, I did have a chance to walk around the city a bit. I knew from a prior visit to the city that one very enjoyable thing to do is to go hiking on Uetliberg, the mountain located on Lake Zurich’s western side and within the Zurich city limits. There is actually an S-Bahn train that goes from main train station to the top of Uetliberg. From the Uetliberg train station, it is possible to walk along the ridgetop for miles, with views of the lake to the east and of rolling country side to the west. From the top of Uetliberg there are great views of the Alps to the south. Going to the top of Uetliberg was a particularly good idea given the absolutely beautiful weather I enjoyed while I was in Zurich.
I also had one evening free while in Zurich and I had a chance to walk around in the city itself as well. Zurich is located on Lake Zurich, where the lake pours into the Limmat River. Zurich is often rated as one of the world’s most livable cities — it is certainly very clean and orderly, and a very pleasant place just to walk around. I strolled down along the river to the lakefront, and then walked along the lake enjoying the views and watching the other strollers as the enjoyed warm late evening sunshine. Zurich is a very civilized place, with a great atmosphere and a pleasant vibe. For my next visit, I really to need to schedule more time to enjoy being there.