Top Banker's Suicide Shock

The boss of one of the potential bidders for Northern Rock prior to privatisation has committed suicide.

Kirk Stephenson, 47, who headed one of the City of London's most successful private equity firms, Olivant, killed himself by jumping in front of a train near Taplow station in Buckinghamshire.

Olivant, Chief Operating Officer at the company, died on Thursday after throwing himself into the path of the speeding train.

Olivant was set up in 2006 and came to prominence earlier this year as one of the bidders for the bank, Northern Rock, which was later taken over by the UK Government.

Mr Stephenson's wife, Karina Robinson, said the New Zealand-born financier was "a dedicated father and a devoted husband," adding: "He valued his family above all else."

Luqman Arnold, Chief Executive of Olivant, said: "Everyone has been devastated by the news of Kirk's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

A source said: "I imagine, like most high-flying bankers, he will probably have lost a lot of cash recently as a result of the credit crunch.

"It appears the pressure became too much to bear."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 June 2008
Great Escape On The Cards For Infamous Train Robber
Infamous train robber, Ronnie Biggs, could be freed from jail in a year, his lawyer has said. Biggs, 78, was sentenced to 30 years for the 1963 robbery, but escaped Wandsworth prison by scaling a rope ladder, after 15 months.
07 August 2009
Great Train Robber Released
Ronnie Biggs has been formally released from prison today on compassionate grounds. Justice Secretary Jack Straw yesterday approved the Great Train Robber's release. Biggs - who turns 80 tomorrow - is severely ill with pneumonia was told he is unlikely to recover.
18 July 2005
Engineering firm pleads guilty to Hatfield safety breach
Engineering firm Balfour Beattie has pleaded guilty to the charge that it breached safety standards before the Hatfield train disaster, in which four people died. The change of plea comes after the company, and five of its managers, were cleared of corporate manslaughter charges last week.
07 April 2005
London commuters set to get free paper
The way has been cleared for a new afternoon or evening newspaper to be distributed to London commuters, following the completion of an OFT investigation.
06 June 2005
New strain of hospital bug identified
A potentially fatal new strain of a hospital acquired infection has been identified. According to a report in the ‘Independent’ newspaper, 12 have died and 300 more have become infected with clostridium difficile at the Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire since 2003.