A wealthy financier said to be overwhelmed by the current global banking crisis has died after throwing himself in front of a commuter train.
Married father-of-one Kirk Stephenson, 47, chief operating officer at private equity firm Olivant, died just after 9am on Thursday near Taplow station in Buckinghamshire, police said.
A source said: "I imagine, like most high-flying bankers, he will probably have lost a lot of cash recently as a result of the credit crunch. It appears the pressure became too much to bear. Figures close to Mr Stephenson are worried that news of his death will lead to speculation about his company."
Mr Stephenson reportedly owned a £3.6 million house in Chelsea and another property in the West Country.
Olivant, set up in 2006, came to prominence earlier this year as one of the potential bidders for Northern Rock.
British Transport Police (BTP) said Mr Stephenson threw himself in front of the 0535 Plymouth to Paddington service.
The train's driver applied emergency brakes but was unable to avoid striking a man on the line, a spokesman said.
Mr Stephenson's previous positions included: COO and MD of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; former Group Finance Director of Coats Viyella PLC and Amersham International PLC; and investment banker at Warburg and Morgan Stanley.
Mr Stephenson's family said in a statement that he was "a life enhancer - not with a showy, life and soul of the party sort of charisma, but as a planner and co-ordinator who quietly and with no fuss ensured everyone around him had a marvellous time.
"A dedicated father and a devoted husband, he valued his family above all else. At the same time he had a gift for friendship and was a generous and exceptional host, gathering his wide circle around him in summer villas all over Europe, as well as for parties, dinners and opera."