Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ruined Madoff Investor's Gruesome Suicide Scene

By Owen Thomas, 4:29 PM on Tue Dec 23 2008

... Thierry de la Villehuchet, CEO of Access International Advisors, a money-management operation placed investors' funds in Madoff vehicles, stabbed himself to death with a box cutter after taking sleeping pills, according to a to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who spoke to Bloomberg.

De La Villehuchet was found “with his feet propped up on his desk, a trash pail nearby to collect blood,” and no sign of a second person, Kelly said in the interview.

The money manager had “multiple stab wounds” to his arms and wrists, and a box-cutter and pills were found nearby, Kelly said at a news conference. No suicide note was found.

The Huffington Post has found what it believes is a photo of Villehuchet at a 2007 Hermès store opening. He is neatly put together. How fitting then, that the scene of his death suggests he wanted to keep things clean at his death. Left with a mess he couldn't clean up, Villehuchet didn't want to leave someone scrubbing blood stains out of the carpet. ...

Yachtsman was proud of ties to aristocracy
December 23m 2008

... A well-known investor, the 65-year-old de la Villehuchet hailed from a long line of French bluebloods. The Magon in his name refers to one of France's most powerful families.

He came from Brittany and held on to a chateau there that had been in his family for centuries, in addition to his sprawling home in New Rochelle in Westchester.

"He would say 20 of his ancestors went to guillotine during the French Revolution," remembered Guy Gurney, a photographer from Darien, Conn., who raced boats with de la Villehuchet.

"There was nothing snobby about Thierry," Gurney said. "He would do anything for you."

Yachting and racing were a great passion, and he was a member of several clubs, including the Larchmont Yacht Club. Married but childless, he owned two 22-foot Starr Class sloops; one kept in Connecticut, another in France.
Earlier this month, de la Villehuchet raced in a competitive regatta in Miami and finished 12th. "He competed with great enthusiasm," Gurney said.

The yachtsman got his start in the financial world in France, working for Paris-based Banque Paribas. In 1983, he founded Interfinance, a New York brokerage firm.

He would make his name as the founder and CEO of Credit Lyonnais Securities, the U.S. branch of the prominent French investment bank. He worked there from 1988 through 1994, before setting off to start Access International.

Access started as marketing advisory firm, but later turned into a hedge fund managing $3 billion with 26 employees. Using his connections, he tapped the wealthiest and most powerful echelons of Europe's high society, including France's second-richest family, the Bettencourts.

Along the way, de la Villehuchet met Madoff and was charmed. One of his funds, LUXALPHA SICAV-American Selection fund, was invested solely with Madoff.
Head of Fund Invested in Madoff Is Found Dead
DECEMBER 23, 2008

Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, a founder of the hedge fund Access International Advisors, was found dead Tuesday in his office in Manhattan. His fund reportedly lost 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.

A spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner confirmed to Reuters that Mr. de la Villehuchet was pronounced dead Tuesday morning at a Madison Avenue building.

Authorities told DealBook that Mr. de la Villehuchet was found in his office with injuries to his arms, having apparently slit his wrists.

Mr. de la Villehuchet, 65, had been trying to recover the money that Access International raised in Europe and invested through Mr. Madoff’s business, according to La Tribune, which first reported the news, citing an unnamed source. ...


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