Posted tagged ‘De la Villehuchet’

German Billionaire Adolf Merckle Commits Suicide

January 6, 2009

German billionaire Adolf Merckle took his own life this week, becoming the latest high-profile casualty of the global economic crisis that already has claimed the lives of executives in both Europe and here in the United States.

Reuters

Credit: Reuters

From the Associated Press:

Merckle, a respected businessmen with a wife and four children, jumped in front of a train in the town of Blaubeuren in southwestern Germany, officials said Tuesday.

His business empire had run into trouble in the crisis, and its problems were compounded by heavy losses in trading of shares in automaker Volkswagen AG. Merckle’s business interests included generic drug maker Ratiopharm International GmbH and cement maker HeidelbergCement AG.

Merckle’s family said in a statement that “the distress to his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to act, broke the passionate family businessman.”

Authorities said he left a suicide note, but gave no details. Merckle’s death appears to be at least the third comparable suicide in less than four months.

In September, Kirk Stephenson — the chief operating officer of private equity house Olivant — jumped in front of a train at a rail station west of London. The 47-year-old husband and father of a young son stepped onto the tracks, was struck and killed.

A British coroner ruled last month that the death was suicide, though the precise reasons remain a mystery. He left no suicide note.

Two days before Christmas, in New York, Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, was found dead at his desk, both wrists slashed and bottle of pills nearby after his fortune and the money of his loved ones vanished along with his clients when he lost $1.4 billion invested with Bernard Madoff.

From the New York Times:

Adolf Merckle, the German billionaire whose speculation in volatile Volkswagen stock had pushed his sprawling business empire to the edge of ruin, has committed suicide, his family said Tuesday.

Mr. Merckle, 74, was found dead on railroad tracks near his villa in the southern German hamlet of Blaubeuren on Monday evening. German authorities in the nearby city of Ulm confirmed the death and said there was no sign anyone else was involved.

“The distress to his firms caused by the financial crisis and the related uncertainties of recent weeks, along with the helplessness of no longer being able to handle the situation, broke the passionate family businessman, and he ended his life,” the family said in a statement.

The police said a suicide note had been found; its contents were not publicly released.

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Madoff Investor Commits Suicide

December 24, 2008

he founder of an investment fund that lost $1.4 billion with Bernard Madoff was discovered dead Tuesday after committing suicide at his Madison Avenue office.

From the Associated Press:

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, 65, was found sitting at his desk at about 8 a.m. with both wrists slashed, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said. A box cutter was found on the floor along with a bottle of sleeping pills on his desk. No suicide note was found.

De la Villehuchet was one of several fund managers to be hit hard in Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Investment funds that lost big to Madoff are also facing backlash and investor lawsuits for not protecting their clients from the alleged fraud.

It is not immediately known what kind of scrutiny de la Villehuchet was facing over his Madoff losses through his Access International Advisors, located a couple of blocks from Rockefeller Center.

But on Monday night, he told cleaning crews in his building that he wanted them out of his office by 7 p.m. because he was going to be working late.

Workers returned Tuesday morning and found the door locked. He was later discovered dead at his desk, with a garbage can placed near his body to apparently catch the blood, Browne said.

De la Villehuchet, (pronounced veel-ou-SHAY) was a prominent investor who came from a long line of aristocratic Frenchmen, with the Magon part of his name referring to one of France’s most powerful families.

The Magon name is even listed on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, a world-famous monument that was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806.

His fund enlisted intermediaries with links to the cream of Europe’s high society to garner clients. Among them was Philippe Junot, a French businessman and friend who is the former husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco, and Prince Michel of Yugoslavia.

De la Villehuchet, the former chairman and chief executive of Credit Lyonnais Securities USA, was also known as a keen sailor who regularly participated in regattas and was a member of the New York Yacht Club.

From CNN:

Thierry de la Villehuchet, a hedge fund adviser and investor whose firm said he lost $1.5 billion investing with Wall Street adviser Bernard Madoff, was found dead in his office in an apparent suicide Tuesday, police said.

Emergency personnel discovered the body of Villehuchet, 65, at 7:29 a.m. in the Madison Avenue office of Access International Advisors, police said.

Villehuchet suffered “cuts made to his arm, to his wrist and also to his bicep area, with a box cutter,” New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at a news conference.

He also told reporters there were pills present, though it wasn’t clear whether any were ingested, and there was no suicide note.

The body will be examined and a toxicology report issued Wednesday, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the New York medical examiner.

Kelly read a statement from Access International Advisors’ attorney saying the firm lost $1.5 billion by investing with Madoff, 70, a former Nasdaq chairman who is accused of operating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.