Over the weekend the world was gripped by the drama surrounding the mysterious murder-homicide of the former CEO of Dutch bank ABN Amro and members of his family, and whether there is more foul play than meets the eye. However, that is nothing compared to what just happened in the tiny, and all too quiet Principality of Lichtenstein, where moments ago the CEO of local financial institution Bank Frick & Co. AG, Juergen Frick, was shot dead in the underground garage of the bank located in the city of Balzers.
Based on preliminary reports, the murder is the result of a disgruntled fund manager, Juergen Germann, who had previously been embroiled in a "bitter dispute" with the government and the bank. Bloomberg has more:
A 48-year-old man was shot dead in the underground garage of a financial institution in Balzers at 7:30 a.m. local time, the principality’s police said on its website. The suspect, Juergen Hermann, fled the scene in a Smart car with Liechtenstein number plates, according to police. Neither the victim nor the institution were identified in the statement.
The deceased was Juergen Frick, CEO of Bank Frick & Co. AG, Switzerland’s Radio 1 said in an e-mailed statement, citing employees of the bank. Calls to Bank Frick were answered by a voice-mail message saying the company is closed because of “a death.” It gave no further details.
Hermann is a fund manager who has been embroiled in a dispute with the Liechtenstein government and Bank Frick for many years, Switzerland’s Radio 1 said.
The Liechtenstein government and the country’s Financial Market Authority “illegally destroyed my investment company Hermann Finance and its funds, depriving me of my livelihood,” according to a website registered under the name Juergen Hermann of Hermann Finance AG.
He has filed lawsuits seeking recovery of 200 million Swiss francs ($225 million) from the government and 33 million francs from Bank Frick, according to the website. The lender “illegally enriched itself,” among other alleged crimes, it said.
A representative of Hermann’s lawyer declined to comment when reached by telephone. A call to Hermann Finance’s office was answered by an employee of a law firm who said his company isn’t related to Hermann Finance.
The narrative against the "publicly hostile" alleged shooter has already been flushed out.
Hermann has been “publicly hostile” to the country’s Financial Market Authority and some of its employees, forcing it to take security measures in consultation with the police, FMA spokesman Beat Krieger said in an e-mail today.
The escape vehicle was later found in the village of Ruggell, 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of Balzers, police said.
“The area is being searched by police with dogs and helicopters,” the 120-member police force said. Zurich police are helping to document the crime scene, spokesman Mario Cortesi said.
Here is the update form the local police station:
On Monday morning, it came in Balzers a homicide, the suspect is currently volatile.
Against 07.30 clock in an underground garage of a financial institution is a homicide in which a 48-year-old man was shot occurred. When volatile suspects are Jürgen Hermann from the Moors. He is armed and dangerous, according to police reports, the investigation of the National Police is in full swing.
Notes on a possible whereabouts of the suspects are requested immediately to the police landing +423 / 236 71 11. Upon encountering the suspect, it is important to exercise extreme caution.
Below is the profile of the murdered CEO, still on the bank's website:
As CEO Jürgen Frick is closely involved in all business activities of the bank with a special focus lying on client advisory, financing and financial product development. As well he supervises all real estate development projects of the Bank.
Jürgen is also Chairman of the Board at Crystal Fund Management AG, a subsidiary of Bank Frick & Co.
As for the bank itself:
Bank Frick is active in modern wealth management and provides a range of advisory services. As well it specializes in fund development and fund administration.
Our Bank entertains close ties to an efficient network of fiduciaries, insurers, tax experts, investment funds and law firms around the world.
We are completely independent. Our advice and our services cater exclusively to the individual needs and requirements of our clients.
Combinvest Establishment serves as holding for all bank shares. Family Frick is the majority stake holder.
After a successful career in international banking and fiduciary services, Kuno Frick senior founded in December 1998 Bank Frick & Co. AG. Due to his wide experience and excellent connections, Bank Frick proved an immediate success.
Since then, the bank’s assets under management have risen steadily. New business segments are continuously being added to the bank’s service portfolio, while existing ones are constantly being refined.
In autumn 2011, Bank Frick’s international presence was significantly enhanced with the opening of Bank Frick UK Branch in Mayfair, London.
Up until now it was mostly banker suicides. With the first open bank CEO murder, one wonders if there will be a change in the pattern.