Swiss Insurers and JPMorgan Have More than ‘Suicides’ in Common

11/03/2014 18:38

Source: Wall Street On Parade

Questions continue to mount over why a rash of suspicious deaths among executives in the financial services industry are occurring now when the worst of the crisis, layoffs, bankruptcies and bailouts occurred over five years ago – or at least Federal officials keep assuring us that the worst is over.

The underlying concern is that we still cannot get a clear assessment of global financial risks because of what we can’t see: the interconnectedness of global banking; offshore banking; off balance sheet vehicles; and regulatory arbitrage where U.S. financial institutions move high risk operations to foreign locales with light-touch regulators.

It now emerges that there are significant financial ties between JPMorgan Chase, which experienced three suspicious deaths of employees in their 30s in January and February of this year, and two Swiss insurers where a suspicious executive death occurred in August of 2013 and another this past January, the week before a JPMorgan executive was found dead on a 9th level rooftop of the bank’s European headquarters in London.

The Swiss insurance company deaths began on Monday, August 26, 2013, when the 53-year old CFO of Zurich Insurance Group, Pierre Wauthier, was found dead in 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 the Wall Street Journal. The police reported finding a typed suicide note. Typically suicide notes are handwritten so that the individual leaves no doubt in the minds of his loved ones that the words are genuinely his own.

Prior to joining Zurich Insurance Group in 1996, Wauthier worked for JPMorgan Chase for 11 years, his last position being Vice President of the Insurance Product Group in London. JPMorgan’s ties run deep with Zurich Insurance Group. JPMorgan is a market maker in the stock of Zurich Insurance Group, which raises red flags since it also puts out overweight, underweight and neutral ratings on the company which can move the share price up or down. JPMorgan also serves as an investment banker to the company, raising still more red flags for potentially conflicted research. (This is all a reminder of just how little has changed under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in the U.S.)

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