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Deutsche Bank director who oversaw Trump loans dies by suicide

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 08: People walk past the Deutsche Bank headquarters in Manhattan after news that the global banking giant will lay off thousands of employees due to a major German bank restructuring on July 08 2019 in New York. The bank announced that it would reduce its workforce by 18,000 people in Asia, Europe and America.

Thomas bowers, identified as a former Deutsche Bank executive who signed controversial loans to the president Donald trump, died last week after apparently committing suicide at age 55.

According to Forensic News’ Scott stedmanA source with direct knowledge of the FBI investigation into Deutsche Bank said federal investigators have asked about Bowers and any documents he may have. Another source familiar with Deutsche Bank’s internal structure said that Bowers would have been the keeper of financial records for the bank’s wealthier clients.

News of Bowers’ death was initially shared late Tuesday afternoon by New York Times journalist David Enrich.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Initial Report attributes Bowers’ death to suicide by hanging.

Bowers previously headed the US Private Wealth Management division of Deutsche Bank.

According to New York Times, Deutsche Bank “agreed in 2005 to lend Mr. Trump more than $ 500 million [to build a skyscraper in Chicago]. He personally guaranteed $ 40 million for it, which means the bank could go after his personal property if he defaults.

After that loan was extended and the relationship between Deutsche Bank and Trump solidified – and long before it turned sour in 2008 due to Trump’s inability or unwillingness to repay the first loan – banker Rosemary Vrablic was awarded the Trump portfolio.

Vrablic’s direct boss during his relationship with Trump was Bowers.

This New York Times story notes:

Traditionally, private bankers discreetly manage clients’ wealth and act as high-end concierges. Ms. Vrablic, who started her career as a bank teller and then worked at Citigroup and Bank of America, has done this and more. She has also arranged major real estate and business loans for her best clients.

To attract her, Deutsche Bank guaranteed her that she would earn at least $ 3 million a year, unusually rich terms for a private banker, and bypass a layer of management to report directly to Thomas Bowers, the chief of the US wealth management division, according to people familiar with his contract.

Hired in 2006, Deutsche Bank praised Vlabic and another recent hire, Dominique Scalzi, who were recruited as “Managing Directors and Senior Private Bankers in [Deutsche Bank’s] Private wealth management activity in the United States (PWM).

“Rosemary is widely recognized as one of the top private bankers in the high net worth American community,” Bowers said in a press release at the time. “With Rosemary and Dominic’s extensive experience in banking and structured lending, we will further strengthen our position as a leading integrated private bank. “

In 2010, Trump and Deutsche Bank were ready again. (A lawsuit between Trump and the bank over his non-repayment of the $ 500 million loan has been settled.) Trump contacted Vrablic through his recently acquired son-in-law and client Jared kushner.

At Trump’s expense, Vrablic arrived in Miami to inspect a property Trump wanted to buy: the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. NBC star The apprentice need $ 100 million to close the deal.

At the same time, Trump made an unusual request for a second loan.

He wanted an additional $ 48 million injected into the Chicago skyscraper bearing his name. A portion of this second loan would help him repay what he owed to the bank’s investment banking division.

“Mrs. Vrablic and Mr. Bowers have provisionally accepted the two loans”, the Times history notes – and the relationship between Deutsche Bank and the eventual 45th president soared after that.

Due to Vrablic and Bowers’ trust in Trump, Deutsche Bank loaned Trump $ 170 million as he transformed the Old Post Office Building in Washington, DC into what is now another Trump-branded hotel.

Trump’s ultimately unsuccessful billion-dollar effort to buy the Buffalo Bills was also underwritten by the German investment firm.

And the extended Trump clan has also benefited from this long working relationship. Once again the Times:

Deutsche Bank loaned Donald Trump Jr. money for a manufacturing company in South Carolina that was soon to go bankrupt. He provided a $ 15 million line of credit to Mr Kushner and his mother, according to financial documents reviewed by The Times. The bank had previously informally banned doing business with the Kushners because Jared’s father Charles was a criminal.

The relationship continued in 2015 when an additional loan of $ 19 million was granted for Trump’s Doral estate. A final loan was made in 2016 – Trump needed money for his golf course in Scotland. But by then, Trump’s rhetoric had dulled with the upper echelons of Deutsche Bank and their Reputational Risk Committee.

And Bowers was out – he joined Starwood Capital Group in 2015.

[Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

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