The drama of a murder-suicide in a sleepy, Swiss town reached the main financial street in Zurich, after it emerged that the man who shot top lawyer and media man, Martin Wagner, in cold blood on Sunday, was a risk manager for the Swiss National Bank.
This is what happened: according to barfi.ch, on Sunday, the village of Rünenberg in Baselland was in shock following news of the tragic murder of media lawyer Martin Wagner, 57. Wagner was fatally wounded in a dispute with his neighbour.
The perpetrator is Martin G., 39-year-old family man. On Sunday morning, he had a loud argument with his wife, who fled from him to Wagner’s villa. There, G. first shot the 57-year-old Wagner, then killed himself.
Now, the hush which descended on the village after the murder has slowly given way to one question: why? The police stressed that there are personal reasons behind the murder-suicide.
“Investigations are still running at full capacity. People are being interrogated and different leads are being followed.” The murder weapon has already been found and seized by the police.
A team of around 70 personnel was called in to deal with the murder on Sunday, including the security police, the “Barrakuda” special unit, a forensics team, prosecutors, and the institute for judicial medicine.
“For tactical reasons we cannot say exactly how many people we consider as part of the investigation,” Michael Lutz, the investigator in charge of Baselland’s prosecution, said in a press release.
According to the investigative authorities in Baselland, the motive for the killing remains unclear. However, one assumption which was made on the day of the crime holds fast. “The police and prosecution can assert that, based on current results within the investigation, there are no hints that the crime was committed in the context of the professional activities of the victim,” a spokesperson for the investigation said.
What is now know, is that at the Swiss National Bank where he worked, Martin G. was a risk manager. He was part of a team of around 15 specialists, who take care of the huge positions on the SNB’s balance sheet.
As is well known, the SNB is one of the world’s largest hedge funds, behind the ECB, BOJ and the Fed, with some CHF800 billion swiss franc in asset holdings, of which $88 billion are held in US stocks.
Commenting on his work at the SNB, a partner told Inside Paradeplatz that Martin G. was considered a loner: “He was a funny guy.” On the 2nd floor of the SNB’s headquarters at Borsenstrasse 15 in Zurich, the future killer showed up with his colleagues from the Risk team, and would quietly eat his food.
Attempts to “lure him out of the bank” were met with silence. “You quickly realized that he was not a dumb guy.”
Martin G. left little public traces on the net: there is a record of his appearance at an event with many central bankers in Berlin in may 2009. There, G. was a panelist in a presentation on “Liquidity Risk Stress-Testing Framework with Interaction between Market and Credit Risks”.
Martin G. remained an authorized signatory – ever since 2009, when he was registered with the SNB – in the commercial register until the murder suicide on Sunday.
According to Inside Paradeplatz, The SNB is in contact with the family members of its ex-risk manager. One question is how it will communicate his demise: whether the central bank’s name figures in his obituary remains open.
So far there is no indication what prompted the former SNB risk manager’s shooting spree.
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