In a Muslim cemetery on a hill above Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, a bronze bust of Erzhan Tatishev faces away from the headquarters of the bank he once led. It’s a fitting final gesture for BTA Bank JSC (BTAS)’s first chief executive officer, who died of a gunshot wound while hunting wolves near the Kyrgyzstan border in 2004.
The bank, once the country’s largest, defaulted in 2009 on more than $12 billion of debt held by investors, including Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Two former CEOs are in hiding, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September issue. And Mukhtar Ablyazov, Tatishev’s successor, is facing criminal charges in Kazakhstan and lawsuits filed by BTA in the U.K. alleging he embezzled more than $5 billion — claims he has called fabricated.