Thursday 27 October 2016

Banker's fortunes nosedived after 2009 move to US

Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30

David Drumm’s wife Lorraine. Photo: Chitose Suzuki
David Drumm’s wife Lorraine. Photo: Chitose Suzuki
David Drumm's former home on Stage Neck Road in Chatham, Massachusetts
David Drumm's former home at Abington, Malahide, Co Dublin
David Drumm's home in Wellesley, Massachusetts

When he left Ireland in June 2009, David Drumm was a man of means in search of new opportunities.

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Although he had quit Anglo Irish Bank as it slid towards nationalisation, he still had considerable prospects in the US where he had developed many influential contacts earlier in his career. He was also the co-owner of a €2m mansion in Abington, Malahide, north Dublin and another, more modest, property 20km north of there in his native Skerries.

He and his wife Lorraine were the owners of a luxury home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, purchased for $4.6m (€4m) in 2008.

They would buy another home in Wellesley, near Boston, for $2m (€1.75m).

Mr Drumm owed around €10m to Anglo as a result of loans he received to buy shares in the bank, but was confident he could reach a deal on this debt.

He set up an asset management firm in Boston and became an adviser to Mayo-born property developer John McGrail.

For a short period things were looking up for him.

But as he returns to Ireland, he does so with his personal fortunes much diminished. Not only is he set to face dozens of serious criminal charges, but he is also an undischarged bankrupt, having failed to get the debt agreement he was seeking.

His consultancy company is no longer operating and most of the properties have been sold to partially repay debts. Only the Wellesley home remains from the small property empire he once co-owned.

Mr Drumm's wife received her share from co-ownership of the sold properties, but this was offset by a $1.3m (€1.14m) settlement made with her husband's bankruptcy trustee.

Aside from the obvious implications that come with a criminal prosecution, returning home will have a hugely unsettling effect on Mr Drumm's family.

According to representations made to a US court, he is the sole breadwinner through his employment as a chief financial officer with an asset management company.

It was also made clear that the family had developed deep ties in the Boston area and now considered it their home. They were regulars at a local Catholic Church and the couple's two daughters attended prestigious schools locally.

A court heard on Thursday that they had all applied for Green Cards.

This has given rise to speculation that Mrs Drumm and the children could remain in the US while her husband faces trial.

It remains to be seen if this will happen, but it is abundantly clear the Drumms do not see their future as being in Ireland, whatever the outcome of the court case.

While his personal and financial fortunes have nosedived, Mr Drumm will be able to rely on the staunch support of his relatives in Ireland.

This was evidenced by visits to the US by members of both his and his wife's families following his arrest by US Marshals last October.

The Drumms are regarded by locals in Skerries as a tight-knit, middle-class family who will stand by the former Anglo boss through thick and thin.

Irish Independent

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