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Founding family leads tributes as Julius Baer CEO dies

The 52-year-old CEO of Swiss private bank Julius Baer has died unexpectedly, it has been announced. Alex Widmer (pictured), who joined the Julius Baer Group in 2005 and became CEO of Bank Julius Baer just over a year ago, was described as being "the very epitome of a Swiss private banker" in a statement.

Tributes to Widmer were led by Raymond J Baer, chairman of the board of directors of Bank Julius Baer and descendant of the founder. "We have lost a dear friend, a good colleague and a charismatic leader. Our thoughts are with his three children. We will all miss him greatly," he said.

"Alex very successfully opened up new dimensions for the Private Banking business of Julius Baer. His enormous commitment, his active relationship and close involvement with the clients and his passion for banking will forever serve as a model for us," he continued.

The precise nature of Widmer's death has not been disclosed. Hans de Gier, who served as the CEO of the Julius Baer Group until September 2008, will take over as head of the private bank.

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