Kaspar Villiger (Switzerland)

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Former President of Switzerland and Former Chairman of UBS Bank

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Villiger is a recognised authority on the intersection of business, government and finance. After heading the long established family cigar business he served two terms as Swiss President, before taking over as Chairman of the private bank UBS. In presentations he surveys how recession has affected industrialised nations and emerging markets. He also asks whether more regulation, smarter economic models or better leadership is the best way to avert future crises.


Kaspar Villiger is one of the world's most respected authorities on the intersection of business, government and finance and an international giant whose sound decision-making has impacted global economies. Villiger is a two-time President of the Swiss Confederation, first in 1995 and again in 2002. He was elected Federal Councilor in 1989, serving until 2003, where he was Minister of Finance (1996 to 2003) as well as the Minister of Defense (1989 to 1995).

Villiger has amassed more than 40 years of experience in business, banking, and the federal government, beginning his political career in 1972 as a member of Swiss Liberal, the Free Democratic Party in Canton Lucerne. He served in Swiss federal parliament from 1982 to 1989, and before that in the parliament of the canton of Lucerne. For more than 23 years he was co-owner of Villiger Group, where he managed the parent firm, Villiger Soehne AG, a Swiss tobacco company.

After his political career, he joined the board of directors of Nestle and Swiss Re. In 2009, he was elected Chairman of the Board of UBS, one of the world's largest private banks, a post that he held until March 2012. He has also served as vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce of Central Switzerland and vice-president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Canton of Aargau. Currently, he is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation and Chairman of the Foundation Council at the USB International Center for Economics in Society.

Villiger equips organizations with the change-making insights and knowledge they need to understand an increasingly complex and interdependent global economy, while expertly surveying and putting into context the most pressing economic topics of the day.

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