Zurich CFO found dead in Swiss apartment

Aug 29, 2013
<p>Former head of IR Pierre Wauthier's body discovered on Monday morning</p>

Pierre Wauthier, current CFO and former long-serving IR head at Zurich Insurance, has been found dead at his home in Switzerland.

Wauthier’s body was discovered on Monday morning in his apartment in Zug, Switzerland, sparking a police investigation. A spokesman for Zug police told the Swiss media that ‘currently there are no indications that a third party was involved.’

Wauthier began his career at Zurich as a risk manager in 1996, becoming head of IR in 1999 and performing the role for many years consequently.

He was appointed as the group’s CFO in September 2011, following stints as both group treasurer and head of centrally managed businesses.

A well-respected industry figure, Wauthier held master’s degrees in international finance from l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales and in private law from Paris’ Sorbonne University. Before coming to Zurich, he spent two years at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joined JPMorgan Chase in 1985.

A statement released by the insurance giant says that the group ‘is in mourning’ following Wauthier’s passing. It continues: ‘The police are investigating the exact circumstances. Out of consideration for the family no further details have been disclosed.’

Zurich CEO Martin Senn says: ‘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.’

Vibhu Sharma, previously group controller at Zurich, will take over Wauthier’s former role as CFO on an interim basis.

The news follows widespread reports that the insurance group would struggle to meet a number of performance targets after posting a 27 percent drop in second-quarter net profits to $789 mn. The company has suggested that a high exposure to natural disaster payouts, particularly in the US and Central Europe, was to blame for the $400 mn shortfall.

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