Ex-Deutsche banker left notes before killing himself: London inquest

LONDON (Reuters) - A retired Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE executive, William Broeksmit, killed himself after leaving several suicide notes for family and friends, an inquest in London ruled on Tuesday.

The home of William Broeksmit (C) is seen in south Kensington in west London January 28, 2014. William Broeksmit, a former senior manager at Deutsche Bank with close ties to co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain, has been found dead at his home in London in what appears to have been a suicide. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Broeksmit, 58, who had close ties to the bank’s co-Chief Executive Anshu Jain, was found hanging in January at his Kensington home by his wife and pronounced dead at the scene.

The inquest at London’s High Court heard Broeksmit retired from the bank in February 2013 but written medical evidence said he was “very anxious” that summer about authorities investigating areas of banking where he had worked, without giving further details.

However the last time he was known to have seen a doctor, in December 2013, he had not appeared anxious or depressed, the hearing was told, and a psychologist said Broeksmit recognized his concerns were due to a state of anxiety rather than reality.

Coroner Fiona Wilcox said there was “clear suicidal intent” in the notes but did not give details of their content.

“These notes do provide evidence of intention,” Wilcox said. “I am therefore satisfied ... that William Broeksmit did take his own life.”

Deutsche Bank said in a statement after the inquest: “Bill was not under suspicion of wrongdoing in any matter.”

Broeksmit, a U.S. national, was a key founder of Deutsche’s investment bank and one many bankers, including Jain, who joined Germany’s flagship lender from Merrill Lynch in the 1990s when Deutsche launched plans to compete on Wall Street.

As head of risk and capital optimization, he was also a principal player in Deutsche’s efforts to unwind its riskier positions and to reduce the size of its balance sheet in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Jain sought to have Broeksmit join the management board as head of risk management in 2012 but, in a major setback for both men, German regulator Bafin blocked the appointment, saying Broeksmit lacked experience leading large teams.

None of his family was present for the inquest but his lawyer handed a note from his wife, Alla Broeksmit, to reporters afterwards.

“Bill was a loving husband and devoted father. The children and I are heartbroken by our loss,” his wife said.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Alison Williams