Police allege Dutch banker killed wife, daughter before suicide

Dutch bank ABN Amro.
Rick Nederstigt | AFP | Getty Images
Dutch bank ABN Amro.

A Dutch banker killed his wife and younger daughter before committing suicide, police said on Monday.

Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, who ran domestic operations at ABN AMRO when it was one of the largest banks in the world, was found dead at his home in the wealthy Amsterdam commuter town of Laren early on Saturday.

Police said forensic work carried out over the weekend had given them a clear picture of the deaths of Schmittmann, his 57-year-old wife and 22-year-old younger daughter.

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"The mother and daughter were killed by the father, after this the father killed himself,'' police said in a statement.

Police said Schmittmann had left a suicide note but they declined to give more details about what was in the note or the way the three had died.

Schmittmann had suffered from serious depression, his family said in a statement. "That that would finally lead to these events is still impossible for us to understand,'' they said.

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Schmittmann came to public attention when he left the bank after its nationalization in 2008. Contractually due a 16 million euro ($21.99 million) pay-off, he received half the sum after then finance minister Wouter Bos described it as exorbitant.

"The bank is shocked by the event,'' an ABN AMRO spokesman said.

Schmittmann is the second former ABN AMRO executive to die in unusual circumstances in the past five years. In 2009, former chief financial officer Huibert Boumeester was found dead in woodland near London in an apparent suicide a year after he had left the bank.

ABN AMRO, a household name and a symbol of Dutch financial strength, was bought and split up by a consortium of Royal Bank of Scotland, Fortis and Santander at the height of an economic boom in 2007 in a $100 billion deal.

But during the financial crisis, the bank came back into Dutch hands when big debts dragged Belgium's Fortis into difficulties and the Dutch state nationalized its domestic operations, resurrecting the ABN AMRO name.

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Schmittmann pursued a career in private equity and consulting following his departure from the bank.

Since 2010 he had been owner and director of 5 Park Lane, a company that advised private equity investors.

Among its investments was SynerScope, which according to its website develops data visualization tools to help investigators detect fraud in banking, insurance and forensic accounting.


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