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Urs Roth Visana insurance president dies by suicide

Born in 1960, Urs Roth had been working for Visana since 1995

Urs Roth had been working for Visana since 1995

(Keystone)

The president of the Swiss insurance firm Visana, Urs Roth, took his own life on Monday, the firm has announced. In recent years, several top Swiss executives have killed themselves. 

“It is with great sadness that we inform you about the death of our Chairman of the Executive Board, Mr. Urs Roth, who took his own life yesterday," Visana said in a brief statementexternal link.

Without any further explanations, the Bern group said it extended its condolences to Roth’s family and friends and said his deputy, Valeria Trachsel, would take over in the interim period.

Born in 1960, Roth joined Visana in 1995. As a trained lawyer, he climbed the ranks and was promoted to the management board in 2001. He became president in 2015. 

Under his leadership, the number of insured persons at Visana passed the 800,000-mark in 2016, with business picking up. Visana recorded a CHF200 million net profit in 2017.

Several high-profile suicides have occurred in recent years among the top managers of Swiss companies. 

In 2016, Zurich Insurance announced that Martin Senn, its former chief executive, had taken his own life, six months after he left the firm. This came three years after Zurich’s finance director, Pierre Wauthier, also died by suicide.

Also in 2013, Carsten Schloter, CEO of the state-owned telecoms company Swisscom, took his own life. In 2008, Alex Widmer, chief executive of Julius Baer, the Swiss private bank, also killed himself. ​​​​​

RTS/sb

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