Nicolas Mockford
Nicolas Mockford, third from right, stands with his Exxon Mobil sailing team after winning a tournament last year.

A senior British executive working with Exxon Mobil has been murdered in the Belgian capital Brussels, it has emerged.

A report in the Daily Telegraph said the victim was 60-year-old Nicolas Mockford, from Leicestershire, who was head of marketing for interim technologies at ExxonMobil Chemicals, Europe.

The murder took place when Mockford and his wife emerged from an Italian restaurant in the suburb region of Neder-over-Heembeek. Though the assassination-style murder took place on 14 October, the Belgian police had not divulged the details of the incident due to a news blackout in the country.

"We can confirm the death of a British national in Brussels on October 14 and we are providing consular assistance," said a Foreign Office spokesperson.

Carjacking was also thought to be a reason, however the victim's car was not stolen. The officials have withheld further details as there is a "judicial instruction" in place, a practice which "is usual in such a serious murder investigation" according to the Foreign Office.

Reports suggest Mockford was shot three times, with some reports suggesting an execution-style bullet to the head - leading to speculation about a deliberate attack. His wife was also attacked by the two assailants.

"We are all confused about what has happened. Nick was a genuinely lovely, clean-cut, mild-mannered, family man. He was shot so calmly and so quickly, it smacks horribly of a professional hit, but we can't fathom why. He isn't the type to cave in to blackmail and it just doesn't compute," a relation of Mockford told the Telegraph on condition of anonymity.

The victim died on the way to hospital and his attackers managed to flee the scene on a motorcycle, according to witness reports.

Mockford, a father of three, had been with Exxon Mobil since the 1970s. The company has expressed "shock" over the death of its employee.