Derek van Eck, chief investment officer for Van Eck Associates Corporation, passed away suddenly on Wednesday evening. He was 46.

Van Eck, the son of firm founder John van Eck, joined the company in 1993. In addition to serving as CIO, he was the portfolio manager for the Van Eck Global Hard Assets Fund, the Van Eck VIP Global Hard Assets Fund, and Van Eck’s long/short Hard Assets funds.

His portfolio management duties will be taken over by Shawn Reynolds and Charles Cameron.

In addition to his work at the company, van Eck was a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Association of Investment Management and Research (AIMR). He also served on the board of the Fred M. van Eck Forest Trust, managed in conjunction with the Pacific Forest Trust.

He is survived by his wife, two children, his parents, and brother and sister-in-law. He was a resident of New York and Sharon, Conn.