Julian and Alita Knott
Julian Knott shot his wife Alita multiple times before turning the gun on himselfInstagram / Kayleigh Knott

JP Morgan executive director Julian Knott blasted his wife Alita to death with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself. 

The 45-year-old, who worked for the investment bank in London until July 2010, shot his 47-year-old wife multiple times before committing suicide with the same weapon.

The couple met in London, with Alita opening nursery Quayside Tots Playgroup in Southwick, West Sussex, before they moved to the United States.

She remained the playgroup's care provider until at least February 2013, according to the nursery's most recent Ofsted report.

Julian moved to the United States from London in 2010 and was working at JP Morgan's Global Network Operations Center in Whippany, New Jersey, at the time of the tragedy.

Quayside Tots Playgroup statement

Unfortunately we have received the news today (7 July) that the owner of Quayside Tots Playgroup, Alita, and her husband have passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends. For legal reasons, the playgroup will now not reopen until further notice.

Jefferson Township police, in New Jersey, confirmed on Sunday they had found two unconscious bodies at the Knotts' large suburban home at 1.12am.

A statement released on Tuesday added: "Through an extensive investigation conducted by the Jefferson Township Police Department, the Morris County Prosecutors Office and the Morris County Medical Examiner's Office the preliminary investigation has revealed that the two adults died as a result of gunshot wounds and the incident has been determined to be a murder/suicide.

"This preliminary investigation revealed that Julian Knott, age 45, shot his wife Alita Knott, age 47, multiple times and then took his own life with the same weapon."

Happy couple

Photos of the couple painted a picture of a content family life. Beneath the 2012 photo of Julian carrying his wife on the beach, a friend commented, "Always acting like newlyweds," reported NewJersey.com.

Alita replied: "Being married for almost 18 yrs...I love him more now, he is not just my husband he is my best friend who understand who (sic) really a scatty Filipina I am."

College student daughter Kayleigh, who along with her two teenage brothers survive their parents, used social media site Instagram to pay tribute to her mum and dad.

"Although I am heartbroken that they will never see me graduate college, will never be there to see me get married or to be grandparents for my children, I can still have my inner peace knowing that they are now stress-free in a much better place," she wrote.

"You never know what life is going to throw at you, but it is all part of a plan that is bigger than us all."

"So hug your families a little tighter tonight and count every little blessing because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Life is so incredibly beautiful and I can't wait to see what the world has in store for me. Rest in Peace Mummy and Daddy, stay close," she added.

It is thought at least eight finance professionals have taken their lives so far this year. They are:

Autumn Radtke, 28, the CEO Bitcoin exchange First Meta, was found dead on 28 February outside her Singapore apartment. She had jumped from a 25-story building, authorities said.

Li Junjie, 33, a JP Morgan employee, leaped to his death from the roof of the company's 30-story Hong Kong office tower, authorities said. Photos showed Junjie on the building's roof moments before he jumped.

Li Junjie is thought to have leapt to his death soon after this photo was taken.

Gabriel Magee, 39, an IT vice president at JP Morgan fell to his death from the roof of the bank's 33-storey office in Canary Wharf on 28 January.

Mike Dueker, 50, a chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a road in Washington State on 31 January.

William Broeksmit, 58, was found hanged at a house in South Kensington, London on 26 January. He was a former senior risk manager at Deutsche Bank.

Richard Talley, the 57-year-old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

Edmund Reilly, 47, a New York trader at Midtown's Vertical Group, commited suicide by jumping in front of commuter train on 11 March.

'Lydia', who leapt to her death from the from a 14-storey window at French bank Bred-Banque-Populaire's Paris office on 22 April, did so after clashing with bosses.