Former Zurich CEO’s sudden death at 59

Former Zurich CEO’s sudden death at 59

Former Zurich CEO’s sudden death at 59 By Jan-Henrik Förster and Jan Schwalbe

(Bloomberg) -- Martin Senn, the Zurich Insurance Group AG chief executive officer who stepped down in a December shakeup, is dead after committing suicide, the company said in a statement last night.

"We are profoundly shocked by the news of the sudden death," the company said.

The family informed Zurich Insurance that Senn had taken his life on Friday, according to the statement.

“With the passing of Martin, we lose not only a highly valued former CEO and colleague but also a close friend.

“Our thoughts are with his bereaved family and friends, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies,” the statement continued.

Senn, 59, was found in his holiday house in Klosters, Switzerland, Blick newspaper reported. The cantonal police of Grisons wouldn’t confirm the death but said officers had been deployed on Friday in connection with Senn.

“This is a huge loss; Martin Senn was an amazing person,” said Martin Naville, CEO of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, where Senn had served as president. “Human beings are hard to understand but we have to accept his decision.”

Zurich went through a shakeup in 2013 when Chief Financial Officer Pierre Wauthier was found dead in his home and Chairman Josef Ackermann later quit.

Senn in December acknowledged “setbacks” in the months before his departure after higher-than-expected claims at the general insurance unit forced the company to abandon a takeover bid for RSA Insurance Group Plc. The company announced an overhaul of the general-insurance business.

Mario Greco, the former CEO of Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali SpA, took over Senn’s role in March. UBS Group AG CEO Sergio Ermotti was set to take over as president of the chamber of commerce in June.