Interview with Patricia Mattle in the HZ Insurance, March 2021

«I actually wanted to go into politics»

She had other plans than working in insurance, but then Patricia Mattle, CEO Central Europe at elipsLife, found herself drawn to the industry.

She never would have imagined in a million years that she would end up in the insurance industry. “My dream career was to go into politics or diplomacy,” says Patricia Mattle, CEO Central Europe at elipsLife. That is why she did an internship at the Swiss embassy in Chile after completing her bachelor’s degree. She chose her master’s degree with the same objective in mind: “I was taking part in my first National Council election campaign at the time, serving as President of the Young CVP St. Gallen. Since I was looking to make a career out of this later on, I chose to major in Communication and Public Affairs.”

She did her second internship at a large life insurance company. “That’s when I saw myself drawn to the industry,” Mattle remembers clearly. This ended up laying the cornerstone for a successful career in insurance. Nevertheless, she found that the work was still quite international in nature, as subsequent positions along the way took the 36-year-old abroad: first to Paris in 2012, where she stayed for just under two and a half years, followed immediately by a stint in New York. “No sooner had I moved from Paris to New York than I ended up meeting my future husband, the only Frenchman on the team. We now have a daughter together,” she says with a smile.

Well organised

Patricia Mattle, who grew up in a large family in a rural environment in the Rhine Valley of St. Gallen, now bears the title CEO Central Europe. She is a member of the elipsLife Executive Board in this role, responsible for the markets of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany and, now, Austria starting this year, with a total of some 130 people reporting to her. She puts particular emphasis on bringing together the right people with the right ideas: “The stronger my team is and the better and more they like to work together, the easier it is to overcome challenges.”

In addition to her job, Mattle’s daily routine is also shaped by the rhythms of her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. After breakfast together, she takes her little one to the day nursery. She then heads out to work, where she looks for a place to sit in the open-plan office. “When I started my job, I explicitly made the decision to not have an individual office, allowing me to be closer to everyone,” the term life insurance expert explains. After she has exchanged information with various clients, partners and work colleagues in meetings, telephone conversations and joint lunches during the day, she often still meets for business in the evening, at least during “normal” times – that is, when the coronavirus is not dictating our living arrangements. “Networking with clients and partners is extremely important, especially in my role,” Mattle explains.

A job change during the lockdown

Patricia Mattle’s move from her previous employer AXA to elipsLife came in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown in spring 2020. In full compliance with the regulations of the Federal Office of Public Health, she spent her first day of work at home. “Integrating into a new team was so much more difficult under those circumstances,” she admits. She also misses pleasantries and small talk now as she works from home, of course. “However, I appreciate that I don’t have a commute, that I am generally more productive because I am less distracted, and that I have more flexible working hours,” says Mattle, listing the positive aspects.

Mattle also has a tendency to see things in a positive light in general, and she describes herself as optimistic and open-minded – as well as frequently late to appointments, which she admits with a laugh. “My team also thinks I am ‘fast’, with my father saying that I just talk way too fast”, the expert says with a grin. It is a trait that likely would not have been entirely without its advantages in a career in politics.


Name: Patricia Mattle
Born: 1984
Marital status/children: Married, 1 daughter (16 months)
Nationality: Switzerland
Place of residence: Zürich
  • CEO Central Europe of elipsLife, a subsidiary of Swiss Re with a focus on term life insurance for companies, Member of the Executive Team (Member of the Executive Board) since April 2020
  • Member of the Board of Directors of SOBRADO Software AG since September 2020
Previous positions:
  • Head of Autonomous Market Group Life, AXA Switzerland
  • Head of Field Service and Client Engagement, AXA Employee Benefits, AXA USA
  • Strategic Assistant/Chief of Staff to the CEO, AXA Global Life, France
  • Strategic Assistant/Chief of Staff to the Head of Life, AXA Switzerland
Highest educational level: Master’s degree in Marketing, Service and Communication Management from the University of St.Gallen/graduate in Business Education from the University of St.Gallen
Motto/tagline: Let’s aim high and have fun on the way.
On the women’s quota for executive boards and boards of directors:  Unfortunately, yes. Otherwise, the decision-makers will make excuses for far too long as to why there are ultimately no women. That is why, in my opinion, quotas are unfortunately needed now, especially for boards of directors.
If I had three wishes:
  1. Equality for women throughout the world
  2. To again have more laughter and untamed moments as well as lots of social contact. All of that would mean that we had overcome the coronavirus crisis.
  3. To live a full, happy, healthy and eventful life
Favourite recreational activities: Jogging, politics, family, travel
Memberships: CVP Board of Zurich District 7 and 8

Author: Jasmine Alig, Editor Corporate Publishing, Ringier Axel Springer Schweiz AG

Personal Profile
Patricia Mattle
CEO elipsLife Central Europe

Interview with Patricia Mattle «I actually wanted to go into politics»