Chief Financial Officer, LION Bioscience AG. Resident of Muhltal, Germany. 42 years old.
To friends in Heidelberg, Germany, Klaus Sprockamp was Ein stiller Geniesser, or quiet connoisseur, a lover of Ferragamo ties who found time to host barbecues and tour the Alps on his Suzuki motorcycle with old school chums.
To colleagues at LION bioscience AG, he was a high-powered chief financial officer intent on helping to make his company and his country a global player in biotechnology.
In the emerging world of German biotech, Sprockamp stood out not because of scientific prowess but because of financial pragmatism. His no-nonsense message to investors – that meeting quarterly estimates was as important as reaching research milestones – last year helped turn LION bioscience’s initial public stock offering into one of Europe’s hottest biotech offerings, even as many technology stocks were imploding.
It was a meeting with investors that brought Sprockamp to money manager Fiduciary Trust Co. on the 94th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower Sept. 11. He had come to reassure investors following a 30 percent decline in LION recently, after a handful of the original investors sold shares upon the expiration of the IPO’s lockup period.
As usual with Sprockamp, the meeting began punctually, at 8:30 a.m. After the first hijacked plane hit the North Tower shortly before 9 a.m., Sebastian Gorki, a Deutsche Bank representative accompanying him, called his office to say they were OK. Minutes later, the second hijacked jet hit the South Tower. “I’ve thought often about how Klaus probably reacted. … The more pressure there was, the more calm and collected he acted,” says Friedrich von Bohlen, chief executive of LION and one of his closest friends.
Though Sprockamp often worked long hours, a bout with cancer made him a believer in a balanced life. In 1994, a skin growth was diagnosed as a severe but early stage of melanoma. During his rehabilitation, he met his future wife, Beate, a surgeon. He doted on their sons, Johannes, five, and Lucas, three, who have a fleet of toy cars. On trips to Manhattan, Sprockamp usually made a point of stopping by FAO Schwartz to add to the collection. To his delight, the store was less than 100 yards away from a Ferragamo boutique.
“I’m back home on Friday,” said the 42-year-old on the phone to his mother, Wilhelmina Sprockamp, Later that day, she stared into the TV and muttered: “Now Klaus is dead!”
Initially, his son Johannes asked every day whether he could call Daddy in heaven. His brother, Lucas said: “If the terrorists had known how much we love our Dad, then they would not have flown the plane into the tower.”
Sprockamps body was found almost completely intact. He was lying near the body of German banker Sebastian Gorki. Both died in the same office on that fateful day.
“For us, every day is September 11,“ says Wilhelmina Sprockamp. “We can not escape from our thoughts.”
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Am Ende der Reise kommen wir heim. – 9/11/2002
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You will never be forgotten my dear friend! I will always miss you, Jane Tierney – 9/12/2006
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Never forget, always remember.