A Liechtenstein banker was shot dead, and his alleged killer committed suicide, over an investment fund feud, police reported Tuesday.
The incident occurred in an underground garage in the financial district of Balzers at about 7:30a.m. Tuesday, police say. The victim – according to Switzerland’s Radio 1 – is 48-year-old, Juergen Frick, CEO of Bank Frick & Co. AG.
Police say the suspect – ex-fund manager Juergen Hermann – fled the scene and was later found in a vehicle about 25 kilometres north of Balzers with his passport and a confession letter.
“Service dogs were able to track the suspect to the banks of the Rhine,” police said in a statement, reported Bloomberg News. “Clothing belonging to the suspect was found there. Because of the circumstances and the evidence, suicide has to be assumed.”
According to Radio 1, Hermann was a fund manager who has been in a dispute with the Liechtenstein government and Bank Frick for several years. Bloomberg reported that a website – registered under Juergen Hermann of Hermann Finance AG – indicates that Hermann filed lawsuits seeking 200 million Swiss francs from the government and 33 million francs from Bank Frick. The website alleges that the government and Financial Market Authority “illegally destroyed my (Hermann’s) investment company Hermann Finance and its funds, depriving me of my livelihood.”
Bank Frick & Co., founded in 1998, specializes in wealth management and investment advice. As of 2012, the firm managed about 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.9 billion) of assets under management (AUM). Chairman, Mario Frick, was once prime minister of Liechtenstein from 1993 to 2001. Bank Frick was once partly owned by Bawag PSK
Bank AG, an Austrian lender that almost collapsed because of its ties to the U.S. commodities and futures firm Refco Inc., which went bankrupt in 2005.
Liechtenstein, a small country with a population of 36,000 between Switzerland and Austria, hasn’t seen a homicide since 2011, indicate police records.
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