Fabian Rupprecht

Fabian Rupprecht has been the Group CEO of Helvetia since October 2023. He joined Helvetia from the Dutch NN Group, where he served for approximately five years as CEO International Insurance and a member of the Executive Board, overseeing insurance operations outside the Netherlands. Prior to this, as a German-Swiss dual citizen, he held various international leadership positions within the AXA Group. He served as CEO for the MEA region (Middle East and Africa) and as CFO for Emerging Markets and the Mediterranean region. Fabian Rupprecht holds a Master in Business Administration with a focus on Finance and Controlling from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Koblenz.

«We promote gender equality at all levels»

What trends do you see in how leadership is evolving in the age of digitization, artificial intelligence, increasing individualization among employees, and agility?
Regardless of new trends, creating an attractive working environment in which employees can fully realise their potential and develop remains central to successful leadership. More recently, there has been the additional challenge of strengthening the sense of belonging to the company and the team despite increasing flexibility at work, the use of new technologies and the distance. Appropriate communication channels need to be created and managers need to be sensitised to this.

Currently, companies are meeting the gender guidelines with 30% female representation in the Supervisory Boards and 20% in the Executive Boards. From your perspective, what is next in the generational project of gender diversity after reaching this milestone?
It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is good to see that we are making progress at Helvetia, for example in local management. The share of women on the Executive Board of Switzerland is around 40%. Less positive is that despite a very well-positioned basis, there is still a gap to higher management positions. This is where we see the focus and would like to make further progress.

You have been CEO of Helvetia Group since October 2023. The share of women on your Executive Board is still below the required minimum. What corresponding measures have you taken?
For us, it is important not only to keep an eye on gender equality in management positions, but also to promote it at all levels. Last year, for example, we were able to increase the number of women in management positions by 11%. However, I am aware that management bodies have a role model function. That is why I want to increase diversity in these bodies, not only in terms of gender, but also in terms of other criteria such as age or nationality.

According to our surveys, the women who left their Executive Board positions last year only remained in office 3 years. What measures has your company taken to ensure a high retention of female managers?
Among other things, we offer mentoring throughout the Group, which is generally regarded as a very effective measure. At country market level, we work with partners who offer targeted programmes for women in management positions and have a wealth of experience. Finally, my colleagues on the Executive Board and I must take responsibility and create a culture that is also attractive to women in the long term.

We have noticed that the average age in Executive Boards is increasing. How do you assess this trend?
In the Executive Board, qualification is the decisive criterion. Experience also plays a role here. Furthermore, for us, age diversity is more important than the average age, and we are increasingly mindful of this.

The ecological footprint of Swiss companies is large. How important is sustainability in your company and how have ecological considerations changed the focus of your corporate strategy?
Sustainability is an integral part of our strategy. We have been managing our direct ecological footprint for over 12 years and have reduced it by around half in relation to the number of employees. We are aware that we have a responsibility in the insurance and investment business. Our sustainability strategy therefore also includes specific measures for CO-intensive sectors.