20 October 2012

SOUTH AFRICAN BANKER'S TRAGIC DEATH

Nico Johan Lambrechts (46) committed suicide in London, England, by jumping off the top of the the Coq d'Argent restaurant. He walked to the restaurant at lunchtime, and fell through the atrium. Medics were unable to save him. He was pronounced dead by a doctor at the scene minutes later.The wealthy South African-born investment analyst is survived by his wife, Adele, and three children. The family had recently been on a tropical holiday. It is not known why he took this decision. The former Paul Roos Gymnasium matriculant and Stellenbosch University chemical engineering graduate worked at Investec Asset Management, and lived in a £2m six-bedroom gated home in the upmarket town of Cobham, Surrey. The family had been living in England for seven years, having left South Africa about 19 years ago. Nico first worked for Merrill Lynch before joining Investec. His death is the fourth to have occurred at the restaurant. An inquest into his death was opened.

Coq d’Argent is built on the site of an ancient burial ground where wealthy Londoners were buried. In the 11th Century it was the Church of St Benet Sherehog attended by wealthy wool merchants. The church was so small that there was no room for a burial yard, so parishioners were laid to rest beneath the floor. Getting a patch of earth nearest the altar was a sign of prestige. The church was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666 and the site was still used as a burial ground after that until it was closed in 1853. A recent dig unearthed 274 human remains. The restaurant appeared in the James Bond-themed film sequence for the Olympics opening ceremony that featured the Queen.