Investment banker jumps to death from JP Morgan’s headquarters in Central
George Chen, Clifford Lo and Jeanny Yu
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An investment banker at JP Morgan jumped to his death from the roof of the bank's headquarters in Central yesterday.
Witnesses said the man went to the roof of the 30-storey Chater House in the heart of Hong Kong's central business district and, despite attempts to talk him down, jumped to his death.
Shocked witness said the 33-year-old - believed to be a junior-level employee at the bank - climbed onto the roof shortly after lunchtime.
Police said a man was found in a dangerous position on the roof of Chater House on Connaught Road Central at about 2pm. He threw himself off the building before emergency crews arrived.
He landed on the four-lane westbound carriageway outside the building. A police spokeswoman said the man was taken to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai, where he was declared dead at 2.31pm.
According to several JP Morgan employees, the man worked for the firm's investment-banking business in Hong Kong.
An initial police investigation showed he had recently told a colleague he was under heavy work-related stress, according to a police source involved in the investigation. The police said no suicide note was found.
A spokesman for JP Morgan said: "A sad and tragic incident occurred at Chater House, Hong Kong today, which is currently being investigated by the police.
"Out of respect for those involved, we cannot yet comment further.
"Our thoughts and sympathy are with the family that's involved at this difficult time."
The news shocked the city's financial community, as many were quickly informed of the tragedy via social media and real-time communications apps such as WeChat and WhatsApp.
The incident apparently also had some internal impact on JP Morgan's business activities in Hong Kong.
According to one source, at least one business meeting was cancelled immediately after the suicide happened.
The incident forced police to block part of Connaught Road Central for about two hours, according to witnesses.
JP Morgan takes up the 20th to 29th floors of Chater House, one of the financial district's landmark high-rises.
Chater House also carries the logo of JP Morgan on the top corner of the building.
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