Zurich Insurance CFO found dead

ZURICH – Zurich Insurance Group, the biggest Swiss insurer, said Chief Financial Officer Pierre Wauthier was found dead at his home this morning.

The police are investigating the exact circumstances of his death, the Zurich-based company said in an emailed statement Monday, declining to disclose any further details. A phone call to the Zurich police media office went unanswered after regular business hours.

Wauthier, born in 1960, was appointed to the CFO post in September 2011 after previous roles as group treasurer and head of centrally managed businesses. A citizen of Britain and France, he had worked for Zurich Insurance since 1996, the company said. Vibhu Sharma, group controller, will take over as interim CFO.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn said in the statement.

Wauthier, who held a Master’s degree in International Finance from l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales and a Masters in private law from the Sorbonne University in Paris, began his career at KPMG in 1982. He worked for two years at the French ministry of foreign affairs and joined JPMorgan Chase &Co. in 1985, where he stayed until moving to Zurich Insurance.

Zurich Insurance said earlier this month that net income for the second quarter fell 27 percent to $789 million, missing analysts’ estimates, after floods in central Europe and tornadoes in the U.S. hurt earnings.

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