Bio: Rolf Hüppi is affiliated with various international institutions and businesses and engages in advisory and investment activities. He is chairman and partner of Strategic Alliances, a financial solution provider with a focus on emerging markets. He is also a founding partner and chairman of Sphere Advisors, an international advisory network on intangible capital management.
A native of Switzerland, Mr. Hüppi had a long career with Zürich Insurance Group, which he joined in 1963. He headed up Zürich’s operations in India, held various positions for the company in the United States, and led Zürich’s International Division, serving the insurance and risk management needs of customers around the world. In 1983, he was appointed to the Group Executive Board with oversight responsibility for the group’s activities throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Asia, and Australia. He was also appointed CEO of Zürich’s U.S. operations.
Mr. Hüppi became COO in 1988 and president and CEO of Zürich Group in 1991. In 1993, he joined the board of directors and was elected chairman in 1995. He continued as chairman and CEO of Zürich Financial Services after the merger of the financial services arm of B.A.T. Industries and Zürich Group in 1998. In February 2002, he announced his intention to step back as CEO and in May 2002 resigned as chairman.
Mr. Hüppi has also initiated a philanthropic program to provide life insurance to people with disabilities in emerging markets, and he advises and supports various social-development programs to provide financial services to the low-income sectors in emerging economies.
Expertise: Capitalizing on Intangibles in Global Strategic Management
Fellowship Focus: During his Batten Fellowship, Rolf Hüppi will deliver a series of lectures on the strategic management of large, global corporations. In particular, he will introduce tools and approaches for assessing strategic, operational, organizational, and process issues with a special emphasis on bridging the firm’s tangibles (the things that are typically measured) with its intangibles (the things that are typically not measured, such as talent, behavior, learning, collaboration, reputation, and culture). This lecture series is designed to enhance attendees’ abilities to diagnose the effectiveness of a firm’s strategy and to implement corrective measures. Attendees will gain an understanding of the need for an integrated and deliberate approach to the management of intangibles and of the relationship between aligned intangibles and superior performance and value creation. They will learn to diagnose real enterprise problems, recommend actions, and develop implementation guidelines.
Mr. Hüppi will also collaborate with his faculty hosts to produce an executive briefing and an accompanying multimedia teaching resource on the role of intangibles in the strategic management process and in the governance of large institutions. He will deliver a lecture at the start of the 2004-2005 academic year to first-year Darden students and will serve as an adviser to students, to the organizers of the 2005 Latin American Student Association conference, and to Batten Institute staff and Darden faculty who are developing an entrepreneurship curriculum for emerging economies.