By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 31, 2016
Zurich Insurance Group has a terse statement on its web site today indicating that Martin Senn, its CEO who stepped down just five months ago, took his life last Friday. Senn was 59 years old. According to foreign news reports, Senn shot himself at the family’s vacation home in Klosters. Senn’s death comes less than three years after the sitting CFO of the same company, Pierre Wauthier, reportedly hung himself at his home near Lake Zug, Switzerland. Wauthier’s wife and two children were out of the country at the time and Wautheir was alone in the home, according to media reports.
In the case of Wauthier’s death, police reported that he had left a typed suicide note, not a typical form of communication for one taking their life.
On July 23, 2013, just five weeks before Wauthier is said to have taken his life, Carsten Schloter, 49, CEO of the large Swiss telecommunications provider, Swisscom, reportedly took his life by hanging himself in his home in Fribourg, near Bern. That followed by just six weeks the death of Daniel Eicher, CEO of publisher ABC Verlag, at his home in Bern. Eicher was just 56. Details concerning his death have remained sketchy.
Following Wauthier’s death in August of 2013, Zurich Insurance Group announced that George Quinn, the CFO at another Swiss insurer, Swiss Re, would be replacing Wauthier as of May 1, 2014. Before Quinn could exit Swiss Re, Tim Dickenson, Swiss Re’s Director of Communications, died under suspicious circumstances. Swiss Re put a lock down on details, refusing to provide Wall Street On Parade with the date of death, the location of the death, the circumstances or even the age of Dickenson. The Wall Street Journal was able to piece together that Dickenson died sometime between January 19 and January 28, 2014.
The month of December 2013 would mark the start of a bizarre series of deaths of employees of the largest U.S. bank on Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase. At the time of the deaths, which stretched into 2015, the financial crisis of 2007-2010 was supposedly over, and yet, the deaths had an unprecedented quality to them. Two current JPMorgan workers reportedly took their lives by jumping from skyscraper buildings in which they worked. A former JPMorgan worker is said to have jumped from a six-story building in Manhattan – a height that certainly did not ensure his death — in a city populated with skyscrapers.
By February 2015, Wall Street On Parade was reporting the following: “For the second time in seven months, an employee of JPMorgan Chase is alleged to have brutally murdered his wife and then taken his own life.” Equally disturbing, the JPMorgan deaths were concentrated among men in their 30s.
As part of our investigation into the deaths of workers at JPMorgan Chase, we reported on the fact that the Wall Street bank had taken tens of billions of dollars in life insurance on its employees, which would pay tax-free to the bank, not the families, upon the death of the worker. We attempted to obtain more details on this coverage from the bank’s regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. We were told in writing that the information constituted trade secrets. (See our in-depth coverage below on the JPMorgan Chase deaths.)