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Banca del Gottardo: Claudio Generali to step down as Chairman of the Board of Directors in April 2005

20.12.2004

After 15 years spent at the helm of Banca del Gottardo as Chairman of the Board, Claudio Generali will not stand for reelection for another term. At the next general meeting of shareholders on 29 April 2005, Felix R. Ehrat will be recommended for election as a new Board member. The Board of Directors plans to elect Mr. Ehrat as its Chairman and successor to Claudio Generali.

Felix R. Ehrat, 47, is a lawyer and senior partner at the law offices of Bär & Karrer in Zurich. He serves on the Board of several major corporations and his professional experience has provided him with extensive knowledge of the banking business. He has acted as advisor to Banca del Gottardo in various projects in recent years. Mr. Ehrat also has close ties to Ticino. In 1992 he opened a Bär & Karrer office in Lugano which he subsequently managed for eight years. While serving as Chairman of the Board of Banca del Gottardo Mr. Ehrat will retain his position as lawyer and senior partner at Bär & Karrer, where he specialises in corporate law.

Claudio Generali has left his mark on Banca del Gottardo over the past 15 years. During his term as chairman the bank expanded rapidly both in Switzerland and abroad. One key success was the implementation of an onshore strategy in the bank’s core markets of Switzerland, Italy and France. Another defining moment during his term was the successful transfer of the bank's ownership from Japan-based Sumitomo Bank to the Swiss Life Group. The acquisition by the leading Swiss life insurer meant that Banca del Gottardo became a Swiss bank, having previously been a listed company majority-controlled by various foreign entities.

After Swiss Life’s decision in March 2004 to retain ownership of Banca del Gottardo as a key component of the Group, a new phase marked by stability within a challenging environment opened up for the bank.

The Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to thank Claudio Generali for his valuable service and great commitment in the last 15 years. As a former member of the Ticino cantonal government and as a respected business and opinion leader, his reputation went well beyond the borders of Ticino. He was thus able to draw on the broad resources and connections within top professional organisations (the Swiss Bankers Association, on whose Board he served for ten years, the Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland, as well as the Association of Swiss Commercial and Investment Banks, both of which he has presided).
Banca del Gottardo, with headquarters in Lugano, has a well-established network of national and international offices. With subsidiaries, branches and representative offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Bellinzona, Chiasso, Locarno, Athens, Bergamo, Milan, Rome, Treviso, Turin, Athens, Luxembourg, Monaco, Paris, Hong Kong and Nassau (Bahamas), Banca del Gottardo is positioned to offer top-of-the-line global financial services, delivered by a team of highly qualified specialists, to its local and international clientele.

For more information:

Banca del Gottardo
Franco Rogantini
Media Office
Viale S. Franscini 8
6901 Lugano

Tel. +41 91 808 33 60
Fax +41 91 923 94 33
franco.rogantini@gottardo.com
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