The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Several SNB experts see Martin Schlegel as Jordan’s successor

Central bank chief Thomas Jordan will be leaving in the fall. During his more than 27 years at the Swiss National Bank (SNB), of which he has been its head for the last twelve, he has shaped Swiss monetary policy. Opinions differ among economists and central bank experts when it comes to Jordan's successor. However, many see Vice President Martin Schlegel as the favorite.

After such a long time on the Board of Directors, Thomas Jordan's resignation comes as no surprise, UBS economist Alessandro Bee told the news agency AWP on Friday. The resignation can also be justified from a monetary policy perspective. After all, the end of the key interest rate hike cycle marks the end of a chapter and this is a good time for a change at the top of the Governing Board, Bee continued.

Bee does not believe that Jordan's resignation will create a power vacuum at the SNB because, after all, the SNB does not only consist of the Governing Board. As far as Jordan's successor is concerned, Bee would like to see a candidate from outside the SNB. The choice of a woman could become an issue. "First and foremost, however, is professional competence and the ability to communicate monetary policy," says Bee.

Karsten Junius from J. Safra Sarasin was surprised by the resignation announcement. He said that Jordan had made a major contribution to the SNB's high credibility and had managed to bring inflation in Switzerland back into the target range faster than any other major central bank without completely stifling economic growth. It will not be easy to follow in such big footsteps. Junius is therefore convinced that the search for a successor should be conducted both internally and externally.

Schlegel as the favorite

The timing of Jordan's resignation is not surprising, says SNB expert Fabio Canetg. Jordan is leaving before the PUK report on the end of Credit Suisse is published, clearing the way for his pupil Martin Schlegel. For Canetg, host of the podcast "Börsenstrasse Fünfzehn", it is rather unlikely that someone from outside the SNB will take over the chairmanship directly.

Martin Schlegel is the obvious successor, writes Thomas Stucki from St. Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB). Above all, he still lacks public perception as a prominent personality. However, Thomas Moser is also a person with a "broad range of experience" on the extended Board of Directors.

Other observers, such as Stefan Gerlach from the EFG, point to Schlegel's still short term of office on the SNB Governing Board. The Federal Council could wish for someone with more experience, believes the economist, who is also a member of the "SNB Observatory". Gerlach also sees the appointment of an external person, such as an "experienced banker", as a possibility.

©Keystone/SDA

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