Rosemary Vrablic, a senior private banker at Deutsche Bank, saw to it that her bank lend more than $300 million to Donald Trump, according to a new New York Times report. The article includes a photo apparently showing Vrablic, 58, being close to the front of the crowd at Trump’s presidential inauguration in January 2017. The event is described as “a moment of celebration — and a moment of worry for Ms. Vrablic’s employer.”
On her Bloomberg profile, Vrablic is listed as a “Managing Director and Senior Private Banker” for Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management. That page says that Vrablic is a graduate of Fordham University, where she studied economics and political science. Vrablic attended The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, New York. From there, Vrbalic attained an MBA from Pace University. Prior to working at Deutsche Bank, Vrablic was a private banker at Bank of America.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Vrablic Was Introduced to Trump Through Jared Kushner
The New York Times reported that it was the president’s son-in-law who introduced Vrablic to Trump. Jared Kushner knew that Trump was looking to borrow more money. This came after Trump had already borrowed a significant amount from the bank for a Chicago apartment project that had not gone to plan due to the 2008 recession.
When Trump met Vrablic, he was looking for $100 million to purchase Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami. The Times says Trump flew Vrablic to Florida on his private jet. Also at this time, The Times says, Vrablic provided a $15 million credit line to Jared Kushner and his mother. The bank had previously not done business with the family because of Charles Kushner, Jared’s father’s, criminal history. The Times also says that The Mortgage Observer published a “gauzy” profile of Vrablic in 2012 at Jared Kushner’s behest.
In 2014, it was Michael Cohen who approached Vrablic over a $1 billion for Trump so that the president could buy the Buffalo Bills. That money was never lent because Trump’s bid for the team lost. Trump and Vrablic would next work together in a $170 million loan for the Old Post Office Building in D.C. that was going to be turned into a luxury hotel. That would be the last money that Trump received from Deutsche Bank. He had attempted to borrow money during the presidential election campaign for his Scottish golf resort, Turnberry. Despite appeals from Vrablic, the loan bid was rejected by Deutsche Bank’s head office, in part due to Trump’s abrasive political style.
2. Vrablic Was Hired by Deutsche Bank as the Company Expanded its Private Banking Division in the U.S.
In 2006, Vrablic was hired by Deutsche Bank as the company sought to expand its private banking division in the U.S. Previously, Vrablic had been in the employ of Citigroup and Bank of America. The New York Times says that Vrablic was viewed as “the best private banker in New York.” Vrablic was seen as a weapon that would help Deutsche Bank become a major player in the American lending market. To achieve this, Vrablic was given a green-light to take on “complex” loans. A separate New York Times profile from July 2017 said that Vrablic was “known for taking risks on clients.”
In 2016, Bloomberg described Vrablic as “largely unknown on Wall Street outside of private-banking circles.” Two months later, a Guardian article on the president’s relationship with Deutsche Bank referred to Vrablic as “Trump’s personal banker.”
The concluding sentences of the Times investigative piece refers to Vrablic as being “intensely private” and says that she “rarely discusses her personal life.” That last sentence says that Vrablic is expecting to be called to testify on Capitol Hill.
3. Another of Vrablic’s High Profile Clients Is Indiana Pacers Owner Herbert Simon
In the 2012 “gauzy” profile from the Mortgage Observer, it’s noted that Vrablic did not mention any of her clients by name. Although, Indiana Pacers owner Herbert Simon identified himself as a client. Simon said that when Vrablic came to Deutsche Bank “it was a tough time to get money.” He described Vrablic as being “very creative and get us what we needed. In the toughest times, she was very creative, which made me very impressed with her.”
The profile says that Vrablic had a client list of around 50 people with assets of around $5.5 billion. Vrablic said that she ran a team of nine people at Deutsche Bank. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross is also a client of Vrablic’s. In 1999, Vrablic told American Banker, that her clients have “many homes, ex-wives and many children.”
4. Vrablic Got Into Investment Banking Due to a Chance Encounter on a Metro-North Train Journey
Vrablic told the Mortgage Observer that she first got involved in investment banking after meeting the then-chief credit officer of Bank Leumi, Howard Ross. This was in 1989 when Vrablic was living in Scarsdale, New York, with her parents, and working as a bank teller. Vrablic says, “We were just talking, and two hours later I get off the train, and he said, ‘You just gave the best interview of your life.”
Upon Vrablic’s hiring at Deutsche Bank in 2006, a statement from the bank’s head of private wealth management, Thomas Bowers, read, “Rosemary is widely recognized as one of the top private bankers to the US ultra-high-net-worth community.”
5. Vrablic Lives in a Duplex Apartment Along Park Avenue
Vrablic lives in the former apartment of disgraced financial advisor Phillip Bennett. In 2005, Bennett was accused of hiding $430 million in bad debt from investors and auditors. Bennett was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2008 for financial fraud.
Vrablic’s father, Joseph, died in Delray Beach, Florida, in 2005. Her mother, Bernice, passed away a year later in 2006.