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August 26, 2013 6:44 pm
The death of Pierre Wauthier, the chief financial officer of Zurich Insurance, is likely to have been a suicide, Swiss police have said.
“Based on the initial findings of the Institute for Forensic Medicine, and the evidence found at his residence, it is to be assumed that Pierre Wauthier’s death was a case of suicide,” the police department in Zug said, declining to provide any further details.
Mr Wauthier, who had been in charge of the Swiss group’s finances since 2011, was found dead at his home on Monday morning. The circumstances surrounding his death were initially unclear, with the police merely saying that they had ruled out the involvement of third parties.
Martin Senn, chief executive, said: “The board of directors, group executive committee and all of our colleagues are deeply saddened and pass on our condolences to the family and relatives.”
Zurich, which is Switzerland’s biggest insurance company, added in a statement on Monday that it would provide no further information out of respect for Mr Wauthier’s family.
Vibnu Sharma, who is currently Zurich’s group controller, will take over as chief financial officer on an interim basis.
Mr Wauthier, who was born in 1960, joined Zurich in 1996 as its corporate credit and investment risk manager.
Over the next 15 years, he worked his way up the ranks, serving in a variety of positions, including as head of investor relations and as CFO at the group’s Farmers division.
The dual British and French national had previously worked at JPMorgan and the French ministry of foreign affairs and held a law degree from the Sorbonne as well as a degree in international finance from l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in Paris.
Shares in Zurich Insurance closed down 2.38 per cent at SFr237.60 on Tuesday. The news of Mr Wauthier’s passing was announced after the close on Monday.
This story has been updated after Swiss police said the death was likely to have been a suicide.
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