Alex Widmer, CEO of Swiss bank Julius Baer, died unexpectedly Dec. 3 at the age of 52.

Hans de Gier, chairman of Baer hedge fund GAM, will assume leadership of the private bank. Gier was CEO of the Julius Baer Group until September 2008.

Widmer joined the Julius Baer Group in 2005 from Credit Suisse and became CEO of Bank Julius Baer in November 2007.

A spokesman declined to comment on the manner of Widmer’s death, calling it a “personal matter for the family.”

“For colleagues and clients alike, as well as for the financial industry, Alex Widmer was the very epitome of a Swiss private banker,” Julius Baer said in a statement.

Widmer is survived by three children. His wife died a year ago.

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