Barclays confirmed today that two of its employees were killed in an avalanche in the Italian Alps on Sunday.
Matt Ziegler, 43, an in-house lawyer at Barclays, and Katherine Clarke, 39, a director in Barclays private bank and overseas service, were among four people killed in the avalanche on Sunday.
A spokesperson said in a statement: “It is with great sadness we learned of the tragedy in the Alps over the weekend. Our thoughts are with the families of all the victims, but especially those of our two colleagues, Matt and Katherine. We are supporting their families in every way we can, and we are supporting their friends and colleagues at Barclays, who are devastated by the loss.”
According to the Times, the four were skiing in Courmayeur, near Mont Blanc, on the border with France.
Ziegler, who was married with two children, had been working in the Geneva office of Barclays and had gone skiing before he was due to return to London that day.
According to the Times, Paolo Comune, the head of the local Alpine rescue team said: “This was a big avalanche and it caught all four of them in a narrow channel where they were skiing, so they stood no chance.”
New Zealand-born Clarke, who was married and had a young daughter, had worked at Barclays since 2011 according to her Linkedin profile. She was a vice president in its legal department in Dubai between 2011 and 2015, before moving to London in 2015 to take the role of vice president legal.
She was previously an associate at City law firm Ashurst and prior to that worked for New Zealand law firm Chapman Tripp.
In a statement, her husband Jim Clarke-Sullivan, said: “Words cannot describe the loss we feel after Sunday’s accident. Katherine was an amazing mother who loved our daughter, Isla, very deeply and was completely devoted to her. We enjoyed 14 years together and were looking forward to celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary on Wednesday."
He added: "Katherine had an adventurous spirit which found its home in the mountains. She was a very experienced backcountry skier and climber, tackling mountains all over the world, including becoming the first New Zealand woman to have climbed and skied the three highest peaks in Greenland. She was always meticulous and careful in everything she did, and though she was killed in a tragic accident, it was doing something that she loved. She also loved her career and was very close to her team, many of whom were friends and were with her in the Alps. She will be missed beyond words.”
Ziegler's family said in a statement: “Matt was very much loved by all of us, his friends and his colleagues. We want to say thank you to everyone who has sent their condolences and offered their help. This is obviously an extremely sad and difficult time for us, so we thank you for respecting our need for privacy so we can try and deal with our loss.”
The other two victims were Chamonix residents, Nicolas Bruno Vergez, 36, a Frenchman, and Wespazjan Wisla, 38, who was originally from Poland.