William Broeksmit, a former senior manager at Deutsche Bank with close ties to co-CEO Anshu Jain, has been found dead at his home in London in what appears to have been a suicide.
Jain and the bank's other co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen announced Broeksmit's death in an internal mail to Deutsche Bank employees.
Asked about the death, London's Metropolitan Police said a 58-year-old man had been found hanging at a house in South Kensington on Sunday afternoon and been pronounced dead at the scene. Police declared the death non-suspicious.
Police also called "non-suspicious" the death of a man who fell from JP Morgan's 33-storey tower in the heart of London's Canary Wharf financial district.
It was unclear if the 39-year-old man was working for JP Morgan. A JP Morgan spokesman said the firm was investigating the incident.
Broeksmit, a US national, was an instrumental founder of Deutsche's investment bank and attracted many bankers, including Jain, who joined Germany's flagship lender from Merrill Lynch in the 1990s, when Deutsche launched plans to compete on Wall Street.
Broeksmit was also a principal actor in Deutsche's efforts to unwind its riskier positions and to reduce the size of its balance sheet in the wake of the global financial crisis.
His death comes at an uncomfortable juncture for Jain and Fitschen, whose reign has been dogged by poor results and legal troubles since they took over from Josef Ackermann in 2012.
"He was a dear friend and colleague to many of us who benefitted from his intellect and wisdom," Jain and Fitschen said. A spokesman for the bank declined to comment.
Broeksmit, who worked as head of risk and capital optimisation, was viewed as one of Jain's closest allies and a key player in the bank's attempts to recover following the financial crisis.
Jain sought to have Broeksmit join the management board as head of risk management in 2012. But in a major setback for both men, German regulator Bafin blocked the appointment, saying Broeksmit lacked experience leading large teams.