It's been a tough year in the markets, and it's sad to report yet another senior banker is believed to have killed himself.
The Mail-on-Sunday reports that 49-year-old Christen Schnor, who ran HSBC's UK, Turkey, Middle East and Malta insurance operations, was found dead last week in a Knightsbridge hotel. He is said to have hanged himself with a belt, and was apparently found naked in a closet. There was a suicide note beside the body. London's Metropolitan Police are not treating the death as suspicious.
Schnor, a Danish national, is thought to have been living in the hotel while building work was being undertaken on his apartment. His wife and two young children are said to have been renting an apartment close to the hotel.
A spokesperson for HSBC said that the bank 'would like to express our deepest sadness over the loss of a respected colleague, and our thoughts are with his family at this time'.
It was just over one month ago that another senior HSBC banker, 45-year-old Neil Ellerbeck was charged by the Met with the murder of his wife, Katherine. Mrs Ellerbeck died at home from asphyxiation and manual compression of the neck. Ellerbeck is the head of liquidity management over at HSBC Asset Management.
Also in November, 36-year-old Brazilian trader Paulo Sergio shot himself on the floor of the San Paulo Commodities & Futures Exchange. He is now recovering from the shotgun wound.
Not to forget Gavin MacDonald. MacDonald, the global head of M&A at Morgan Stanley, suffered a heart attack at the firm's Canary Wharf regional HQ building earlier this month. Unfortunately he died a few days later. He was only 47.
Finally, there's Alex Widmer, the CEO of Julius Baer, one of Switzerland's most well-known private banks. Widmer is said to have killed himself earlier this month, for reasons unconnected with the activities of the firm.
Here Is The City publisher Vic Daniels said: 'Bankers, like everybody else, have personal and health problems. The financial and economic crisis of the last 15 months, however, has added pressure and stress to the equation, and this can make a tragic mix. 2008 will go down as one of the most difficult in the history of the financial markets. Let's hope 2009 will not be as bad as many of us fear'.
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