The Board of Directors defines FINMA’s strategic goals and decides on matters of substantial importance. It also issues FINMA ordinances and circulars, exercises control over FINMA through the Internal Audit unit and is responsible for FINMA's budget. FINMA’s Board elects the Chief Executive Officer, whose appointment must be confirmed by the Federal Council. It also elects the other members of the Executive Board, with the Chief Executive Officer being granted the right to propose candidates for membership.
FINMA’s Board of Directors comprises seven to nine independent, expert members elected by the Federal Council. The latter defines the requirements profile for the FINMA Board of Directors and the conditions for holding office. The Board of Directors assumes collective responsibility for its actions and decisions. Resolutions are passed by a majority vote of the Board members present.
Marlene Amstad is Chair of FINMA's Board of Directors since 1 January 2021. She is professor at the University of Bern and Senior Fellow at the Harvard University. Her work focuses on international finance and quantitative economics. Previously, she served as finance professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Co-Head of its FinTech Center, Deputy Director at the Swiss National Bank, and Advisor for Asian central banks at the Bank for International Settlements in Hong Kong. Former positions include the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Credit Suisse and KOF Swiss Institute of Economics at the ETH Zurich. Marlene Amstad joined FINMA’s Board of Directors in 2016 and assumed the role of Vice-Chair in February 2018. She chairs the FINMA Nomination Committee.
After earning a degree in mathematics at ETH Zurich, Martin Suter initially worked at UBS and Credit Suisse. From 1999 to 2016, he held various posts at Swiss Life Zurich where he last was CFO for Switzerland and a member of the executive board for Switzerland. Since 2017 he has been managing director of stylasis ag in a part-time capacity. He joined FINMA's Board of Directors on 1 January 2018, since 1 January 2021 in the role of Vice-Chair. He is also a member of FINMA’s Audit and Risk Committee.
The holder of a doctorate in law has been a professor of criminal law at the University of Geneva since 1995 and a member of the Centre de droit bancaire et financier (centre of banking and financial law) of the faculty of law since 2004. Her main areas of expertise include money laundering, corruption and corporate criminal law. She also oversees a number of courses in financial market law. Ursula Cassani Bossy is also a member of the FINMA Takeover and State Liability Committee.
The holder of a doctorate in law has been a full professor for private law and banking law as well as director of the Institute of Banking Law at the University of Bern since 2005. Since 2014 she has also acted as adjunct professor at Cornell Law School (USA). Her research and teaching focuses on contract law and national and international financial market law. She is the editor and author of numerous publications in the area of financial market law. She was previously a member of the Advisory Board for the Future of the Financial Centre, as well as a member and Vice-Chair of the Swiss Takeover Board. Susan Emmenegger has been a member of FINMA’s Board of Directors since 2021.
After graduating in business administration, Benjamin Gentsch began his professional career in the reinsurance industry and became a member of Zurich Re’s executive board in 1998. In this role he played an important part in Zurich Re’s successful initial public offering and was later appointed CEO of the Swiss arm of this new company under the name Converium. Following the integration of Converium into French-owned Scor in 2007, he was a member of Scor’s group executive board as CEO of the Swiss unit and Deputy CEO of the global non-life unit. Benjamin Gentsch has been a member of FINMA’s Board of Directors since 1 July 2019. He is a member of the Nomination Committee.
Bernard Keller, an economist, worked as a product manager for Nestlé in Canada und Taiwan before assuming a number of senior management positions in the banking sector in Ticino. He headed UBS branch offices in Lugano and Locarno, and was also responsible for its Private Banking division. Between 1997 to 2007, he initially acted as CEO of BDL Banco di Lugano and then of Banca Julius Baer (Lugano) SA. He subsequently took up a number of executive positions at Bank Julius Bär & Co. AG which he occupied until 2014. Bernard Keller joined FINMA's Board of Directors on 1 January 2016, and is also a member of its Audit and Risk Committee.
The mathematician worked in asset management at UBS from 1997 to 2016, where he was, inter alia, CEO of the Swiss Asset Management unit and ultimately global head of distribution. He was also a member of the Swiss Federal Commission for Occupational Pensions and Chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association's Commission for Institutional Asset Management. Andreas Schlatter holds a doctorate in Mathematics from ETH Zurich and is a certified financial analyst. He is also a member of the FINMA Takeover and State Liability Committee.
Prior to his role at the supervisory authority, Franz Wipfli was a member of the Group Management Board of Zurich Financial Services. He was appointed to the FINMA Board of Directors in 2012 and chairs the FINMA Audit and Risk Committee.
To prepare its decisions, the Board of Directors has three standing committees:
The Board can also set up ad hoc committees or designate specialist members from among its ranks to act in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. The objective here is to incorporate the Board’s specialist expertise and strategic perspective.