Kaspar Villiger

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Kaspar Villiger (2002)

Kaspar Villiger (born February 5, 1941 in Pfeffikon , resident in Sins and Pfeffikon) is a Swiss entrepreneur and politician ( FDP or FDP. The Liberals ). From 1989 to 2003 he was a member of the Federal Council . From 2009 to 2012 he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the major Swiss bank UBS .

Education, job and private life

Villiger comes from a family of manufacturers who produce cigars . He attended primary school in Pfeffikon, the district school in Reinach and the canton school in Aarau , where he graduated with a type C Matura . He then studied mechanical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and graduated in 1966 with a diploma. After the death of his father in the same year, he took over the management of the cigar factory Villiger Söhne AG in Pfeffikon. He bought the Kalt bicycle factory in Buttisholz and expanded it considerably under the name of Villiger . Villiger was Vice President of the Central Switzerland Chamber of Commerce and for several years a member of the committee of the Central Association of Swiss Employers' Organizations and Vice President of the Aargau Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Villiger is married and has two children.


Federal President Villiger (3rd from left) at a media conference on the total revision of the Federal Constitution (1995)

In 1972 Villiger was elected to the Grand Council of the Canton of Lucerne . On January 25, 1982, he replaced the resigned Erwin Muff in the National Council and was confirmed in 1983. In the National Council he was a member of the Military Commission from 1983 to 1987. In 1987 Villiger was elected to the Council of States , where he sat on the Business Audit Commission and the Transport Commission.

Kaspar Villiger was elected to the Federal Council as successor to Elisabeth Kopp on February 1, 1989 and left the family business. In the Federal Council, he initially headed the military department . In 1996 he took over the finance department . Villiger was Federal President in 1995 and 2002. On December 31, 2003, he handed over his office to the newly elected Hans-Rudolf Merz , after he had announced his resignation in September.

In 2003 Villiger was awarded the Fischhof Prize , which is awarded by the Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism (GRA) and the Society for Minorities in Switzerland (GMS).

In 2016 Villiger received the prestigious Freedom Prize from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation .

Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS

On March 4, 2009, the major Swiss bank UBS announced that it would propose Kaspar Villiger as a new member and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on April 15, 2009 . On April 15, he was elected to this office at the Annual General Meeting and resigned from his other board memberships at Nestlé , Swiss Re and NZZ . He only retained his mandate as President of the Foundation for the Promotion of the Master's in Law and Economics course at the University of St. Gallen . Two days later Villiger presented his book "A willing nation must want - The political culture of Switzerland: future or obsolete model?" with which he symbolically withdrew from politics. Villiger did not stand for re-election at the General Assembly on May 3, 2012. He resigned as president a year earlier than planned.


  • Kaspar Villiger and Konrad Stamm: Shaping the future instead of fearfully managing it. NZZ Libro, Zurich 2004, ISBN 978-3-03823-107-3 .
  • Kaspar Villiger: A willing nation must want to. NZZ Libro, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-03823-525-5 .
  • Kaspar Villiger: Commuter between business and politics. Essays and speeches. Stämpfli, Bern 2014, ISBN 978-3-7272-1416-5 .
  • Kaspar Villiger: Democracy and Conceptual Thinking. Politics in the field of tension between economic constraints, emotions and coincidences. Verlag NZZ, 2015, ISBN 978-3-03810-099-7 . With 27 guiding ideas for economic policy action.


Web links

Commons : Kaspar Villiger  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Fischhof Prize. Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism (GRA), accessed on August 13, 2010 .
  2. Active gardener in the vineyard of freedom. In: NZZ Online from November 12, 2016
  3. Kaspar Villiger receives Freedom Prize 2016 | Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom . In: Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom . ( freiheit.org [accessed December 23, 2017]).
  4. Villiger becomes UBS President - The situation remains difficult . St. Galler Tagblatt . April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  5. ^ Current and former company network of Kaspar Villiger. In: monetas.ch. Retrieved November 22, 2011 .
  6. Villiger ends his life in politics with a book . St. Galler Tagblatt. April 17, 2009. Archived from the original on January 10, 2010. Retrieved on April 19, 2009.
  7. Nominations to the top management level of UBS. Media release from November 15, 2011
  8. «We are in a more difficult situation than many think». Interview in: Tages-Anzeiger on November 16, 2011
  9. One red and two yellow cards for the UBS leadership. In: NZZ Online from May 3, 2012
  10. Democracy Between Market and Emotions , NZZ, December 14, 2015
predecessor Office successor
Elisabeth Kopp Member of the Swiss Federal Council
Hans-Rudolf Merz