As life insurance and pension provision make up its core business, it is important to Helvetia in presenting the Generations Prize that it promotes understanding and dialogue between and across the generations.
The WDA Forum aims to investigate the key challenges of the 21st century, including demographic developments as well as issues concerning age and generations and their impact on the social, economic and political environment in an international context. In close cooperation with various institutions and educational institutes, the WDA Forum also wants to preserve and improve levels of welfare and prosperity in the future.
With an award of CHF 20,000, the prize is endowed by Helvetia and presented every three years by the WDA Forum in association with the University of St.Gallen. The jury comprises delegates from the Board of Directors of WDA Forum AG, Prof. Günter Müller-Stewens from the University of St.Gallen and Philipp Gmür, CEO of Helvetia Group.
From 2016, the “Prix des Générations”, which was created in 2005, is being renamed and presented in memory of Erich Walser, a founding member of the WDA Forum and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Helvetia Holding AG.
Erich Walser began his career in insurance in 1979 in the finance department of what was then Helvetia Feuer in St Gall. With the insurance company facing profound challenges in 1991, Erich Walser was appointed CEO in the same year as a representative of the young generation. Under his leadership, an ever closer collaboration developed with Patria life insurance in Basel, which ultimately led to the merger of the two companies and laid the foundations for the enduring success of Helvetia Group. As Chairman of the Board of Directors of Helvetia Group and a founding member of the “WDA Forum Switzerland”, Erich Walser ultimately spent 16 successful years at the helm of the Executive Management.