Monday, December 22, 2008

Banker Suicide: HSBC Head of Insurance, Who Also Happened to be a Danish Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, Hangs Himself in London Five Star Hotel Room
December 22nd, 2008

Via: Times Online:

Knightsbridge An HSBC banker has been found hanged at a five-star hotel, after apparently committing suicide.

Christen Schnor, 49, was found by a hotel worker hanging by a belt in the closet of his £500-a-night suite at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge, West London. A note was found by his naked body.

Mr Schnor worked at the bank’s offices at Canary Wharf, East London. He earned a six-figure salary as head of insurance with responsibility for Britain and the Middle East. Scotland Yard said that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the Danish-born banker.

Mr Schnor rented a four-bedroom apartment costing £390-a-day for his wife, Marianne, and two children in Lower Sloane Street near the hotel. It is understood that he was staying at the hotel while building work was being carried out at the apartment.

A spokesman for HSBC said: “Our thoughts are with his family and we will do all we can to help them at this difficult time.”

More: HSBC Banker Found Hanged by Belt at 5-Star London Hotel After ‘Committing Suicide’

A leading City banker was found hanged in a five-star hotel in an apparent suicide, police said yesterday.

Christen Schnor, 49, was discovered by a hotel worker naked with a belt around his neck in the cupboard of his £500 a night suite.

The married father of two earned a six-figure salary as HSBC’s head of insurance and also had a seat on the bank’s executive committee.

A suicide note written in his native Danish was found next to his body when he was discovered last Wednesday afternoon.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Mr Schnor and his wife, Marianne, rented a £390 a day four-bedroom flat in a Victorian mansion in Chelsea.

He was believed to be staying at the nearby Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel while building work was carried out on his flat.

Mr Schnor, a former soldier, also ran a real estate business in France with his wife and was described by friends as a man of ‘independent wealth.’

He joined HSBC last year from the pensions company Winterthur Group where he had been an executive board member since 2003.

At the time HSBC chief executive Dyfrig John said his proven expertise in the insurance industry would take the bank’s operations to a new level of ‘excellence and performance.’

A spokesman for the bank said last night: ‘Our thoughts are with his family and we will do all we can to help them at this difficult time.’

HSBC suffered 500 job losses earlier this month, but is regarded as one of the world’s strongest bank’s which is best prepared for the global financial crisis.

Mr Schnor grew up in Denmark and went to school in Runsted, an exclusive suburb north of the capital Copenhagen.

He later attended the city’s military academy and after graduating in 1984 spent five years in the army.

But he quit in 1989 and started a career in business with British Tyre & Rubber.

He received an MBA in international business from the Henley Management College in 1994 and went on to work in Hong Kong and Switzerland before moving to London.

But he continued to play a role in the Danish military and last year was appointed lieutenant colonel in the country’s army reserve.

A colleague said: ‘Christen did not seem under any pressure and was quiet man. He always appeared hard-working, diligent and very capable.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were called to reports of a man found hanging in hotel room at 2.30pm on December 17.

He said: ‘The 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

‘A post mortem will take place in due course. His death is being treated as non-suspicious.’

Earlier this year Mr Schnor became embroiled in a legal row with the landlords of his rented flat after claiming he had to spend £4,500 decorating it, even though the agents had said it would be put in good decorative order when he moved in.

He also alleged that delays meant he and his wife did not get possession of the flat for a month after they signed the two-year lease.

Research Credit: ottilie

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