Hitt og þetta 14. september 2006

Walter Knabenhans to become Swissfirst Chairman

With immediate effect, Walter Knabenhans, the former CEO of the Julius Bär Group, will strengthen the Board of Directors of Swissfirst AG, the parent company of the Swissfirst Group, as an independent member. The formal election will be submitted to the shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting. It is planned that the experienced banker will then be appointed Chairman of the Swissfirst Board. The current Chairman of the Group, Martin Bisang, as well as Hansjörg Graf and Daniel Schlatter will remain members of the Board.

Walter Knabenhans will head the announced strategic reorientation process of the Swissfirst Group and the evaluation of possible options. He will be supported by Credit Suisse as the mandated investment bank. The objective is to secure the long-term future of the Swissfirst Group and its individual components in the best interests of the clients, employees and shareholders.

Martin Bisang, Chairman of the Swissfirst Group, said "In view of the strategic redirection which is so decisive for our group's future, it was important for us to engage an experienced banker who is independent and can bring along his know-how for the long term. With Walter Knabenhans, we have succeeded in gaining a recognized expert in the international financial market scene for this demanding task." Walter Knabenhans commented "I am looking forward to the new challenge. The market position of the individual business units of Swissfirst Group continues to be excellent. I am confident that we will be able to swiftly overcome the actual difficulties as we will come up with decisions furthering the group's franchise."

Walter Knabenhans looks back on a successful international career in banking. Among other things, the 56-year-old Swiss citizen, civil engineer and economist led the development and the implementation of the asset and liability management of Credit Suisse Group. He was also Managing Director of the financial derivative pioneer Credit Suisse Financial Products in London. Later, Knabenhans was appointed to the position of Chief Risk Officer and member of the Extended Executive Board of the Credit Suisse Group. Walter Knabenhans then joined the Julius Baer Group as vice Chairman of the Group's Executive Board and Head of the Trading Business Line. From 2001 until December 2005, Walter Knabenhans was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Julius Bär Group.

Contact: Hirzel.Neef.Schmid. Konsulenten AG Tel +41-(43)-344 42 42

The press release is under the following link:

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