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Former banker and Zurich insurance CEO Martin Senn found dead


Former banker and Zurich insurance CEO Martin Senn was found dead in his apartment. The circumstances surrounding his death point to suicide.

He committed suicide at the age of 57. Martin Senn worked as the CEO of Zurich Insurance Group for six years until last December.

Swiss police from the eastern Graubünden region were called to a holiday resort apartment in the town of Klosters, near Davos, regional police spokesman Roman Rueegg said. He denied to comment on the suspected cause of death.

In a brief statement issued on Monday, Zurich Insurance expressed its “great shock and sadness” at Mr Senn’s death and said “his family informed us that Martin took his life last Friday.”

The company said it would not be making any further comment, “out of respect to Martin and to his family.”

Mr Senn, who was a Swiss national, left the company at the end of last year saying there had been “some setbacks” but the company was in good shape overall.

He described his time at Zurich as “very intense” when he announced he was stepping down.

His departure came after a traumatic year for the company which saw its share price slump by 11 per cent over the course of 2015.

The company was forced to abandon a £5.6bn takeover bid for British insurance firm Royal & Sun Alliance and its Chinese arm was hit hard by a deadly blast in Tianjin which killed nearly 200 people in August 2015.

There is no evidence that Mr Senn’s time at the company played any role in his death. But it comes three years after the company’s then chief financial officer, Pierre Wauthier, also killed himself.

Two independent probes directed by Swiss regulators found no indication that Mr Wauthier had been subject to undue pressure by decision-makers at the company.

Mr Senn was a banker by background and had risen up the ranks of Credit Suisse before joining Zurich Insurance 10 years ago.

He was married to a former concert violinist and was a classical music buff, sitting on the board of the Lucerne Festival.

Before his departure from the company he was also one of Switzerland’s highest-paid CEOs, earning SwFr 7.6m (£4.9m) in 2014.

The 144-year-old company, one of the world’s leading multi-line insurers, has some 55,000 employees worldwide and customers in more than 170 countries.


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