The former head of collapsed company Allco Finance Group, David Coe, has died while on a skiing trip in the United States.
Friends of Mr Coe on Tuesday confirmed Mr Coe, 58, died of a suspected heart attack while in Aspen, Colorado in the past 24 hours.
His friend of two decades, investment banker and arts patron Simon Mordant said he had dined with Mr Coe and his wife Michelle just before Christmas.
"I'm in deep shock at the loss of a dear friend," Mr Mordant told AAP.
"David was one of the most generous and loving people I have met and a close friend."
Mr Mordant said he and Mr Coe worked together on the redevelopment of the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art.
Mr Coe had also been a long-time board member (from 1997 to 2009) and supporter of the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation.
The foundation's chief executive, Adam Check, said the foundation was saddened to hear of the death of Mr Coe and extended its sympathies to his family.
"He will be remembered for his enormous enthusiasm, passion and generosity to the hospital," Mr Check said.
Allco was a global financial services business listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and headquartered in Sydney.
It was one of the highest profile corporate failures during the financial crisis and went into voluntary administration in November 2008 with debts of about $1.1 billion.