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Claus Hugo Strandberg is a target in HITMAN™. He is a Swedish figure who has to be assassinated in the mission A Gilded Cage.
Claus Strandberg is the former CEO of Morocco's largest private bank. Accused of billion-dollar investment fraud against the Moroccan people, he is currently under siege inside the Swedish consulate in Marrakesh. Strandberg grew up in an ordinary midde class family in Lund, Sweden. As a teenager he showed all the signs of a high functioning sociopath: charming, charismatic, extroverted, and above all, trust-invoking and inspiring, a born leader and a first-rate charlatan. Strandberg studied economics in Stockholm, but never graduated. Instead, he created an elaborate web of fake, stellar academic credentials including a business MBA and a PhD in macroeconomics from the non-existing "Kronstadt University".
He soon landed a prestigious job with a powerful UK investment bank. However, when his employers began questioning his credentials, Strandberg cunningly paid a Hollywood actress to impersonate an official of the fake university to "verify" his degrees.
Strandberg moved on to a lucrative job with a Chinese hedge fund where his bold and borderline illegal risk management strategies became the stuff of legend. He married and later divorced a Chinese woman, and when she died from cancer a decade later, Strandberg cynically conned his estranged teenage daughter out of her inheritance.
In 2005 he assumed the position as CEO of Morocco's largest private bank but could not resist making some illegal money on the side. He launched a complicated version of a classic Ponzi scheme and over the next 12 years embezzled billions of dollars from his criminal activities to the public.
Claus Strandberg comes across as jovial, energetic and charismatic. Like all corporate elite and high-functioning sociopaths, he is persuasive, appears trustworthy and disciplined, and has the ability to make you feel the most important person in the world. However, he will cheerfully rob you blind, seeing human interaction mostly as a game of attrition, where winner takes all.
- His estranged daughter was named Eva, and Claus divorced her mother shortly after she was born.
- Pam Kingsley stated that Claus was CEO of AMB, Morocco's largest private bank, for 7 years although his in-game bio claims he was CEO for 12. She also mentions his arrest was 3 weeks before his death.
- Claus, Reza Zaydan, and Swedish consul Erik Olander all have mysterious paymasters known only as "The Heralds", who have previous experience overthrowing governments and disapproved of Claus' fraud.