James McDonald died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday.
McDonald was a board member of the NYSE Euronext and, until recently, sat on the board of troubled lender CIT. He was also the president and CEO of Rockefeller & Co, an investment advisory firm set up by the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller in 1882 to manage his family’s assets. It still manages some Rockefeller money but has expanded to include endowments, foundations and family offices.
He was found in his car, which was parked behind a car dealership in Massachusetts. McDonald, who ran Rockefeller since 2001, was on the board of the NYSE Euronext since November 2003 and the board of embattled firm CIT since October 2007. In May, McDonald was one of three directors on the board of CIT to retire from the board.
The Wall Street Journal reports that back in May McDonald said he resigned because of “increased demands related to CIT becoming a bank-holding company … and time constraints related to each of their other professional commitments.”
The NYSE issued this statement:
“The NYSE Euronext community mourns the loss and offers our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Jim McDonald, an outstanding and accomplished individual who served our capital markets and NYSE Euronext with great commitment and integrity.”
The circumstances of his death are still under investigation.