Fund Chief With Madoff Ties Said to Commit Suicide

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, a founder of the hedge fund Access International Advisors, was found dead early Tuesday in his office in Manhattan, the French business daily La Tribune reported on its Web site, after losing as much as $1.4 billion that had been invested with Bernard L. Madoff, the money manager accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Mr. de la Villehuchet, 65, committed suicide, La Tribune said, citing a someone close to Mr. de la Villehuchet.

Mr. de la Villehuchet had been trying to recover the money that Access International raised in Europe and invested through Mr. Madoff’s business, La Tribune reported.

Paramedics responded to a call at a Manhattan address matching that of Access International, people briefed on the situation told DealBook. They found a victim, whom they pronounced dead, but have not yet identified the man.

Luxalpha, a $1.4 billion Luxembourg-based fund sold across Europe, invested in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Access International last week called Mr. Madoff’s arrest “a shocking development” in a note to investors. Investors in the fund included a unit of Rothschild and several clients of the Swiss bank UBS.

UBS had been the custodian and administrator of the fund until this year when Access International took over. No one answered the phone at Access International’s New York office.

UBS has stated that Mr. Madoff was not on the bank’s wealth management recommended list as a direct investment option but it produced and sold funds containing the investment manager’s products. UBS would establish fund of funds structures at clients’ requests.