Huibert Boumeester (pictured), the banker found dead near London after disappearing last week, was a member of the Fentener van Vilssingen family, owners of SHV Holdings, the Netherlands' largest family-owned company.
The former ABN Amro banker was "vulnerable" and "feeling down of late" according to police investigating his disappearance. They were alerted to the situation when Boumeester, 49, failed to attend a meeting on 22 June and later discovered two of his guns were also missing.
"We are deeply grieved by what we must now assume is a tragic ending," his family said in a statement yesterday.
Boumeester had worked for ABN Amro for 21 years and had resisted the bank's takeover by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2007. He subsequently left the company in March 2008 citing personal reasons. His death is the latest in a spate of apparent suicides. Adolf Merckle, the German family business tycoon, committed suicide in January.
Founded in 1896, SHV Holdings started in coal and is now involved in a variety of industries including retail and energy. The privately-owned company is thought to have revenues of approximately €9 billion.