Thursday 5 December 2019

'Fugitive' ex-Anglo chief Drumm is all smiles as he enjoys new career in US

A relaxed-looking ex-Anglo boss David Drumm at the offices of Safway Atlantic in New Jersey, where he is doing consultancy work. Photo: Dan Callister
A relaxed-looking ex-Anglo boss David Drumm at the offices of Safway Atlantic in New Jersey, where he is doing consultancy work. Photo: Dan Callister
The offices of Safway Atlantic scaffolding company in Carlstadt, New Jersey.
David Drumm at the offices of Safway Atlantic scaffolding company in Carlstadt, New Jersey.

Orlaith Farrell and Shane Phelan

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm, who may face criminal charges over his activities at the failed bank, has started a new career in the United States.

Mr Drumm has recently found a job as a consultant and has been seen working out of the offices of a scaffolding firm in New Jersey.

The firm, Safway Atlantic, has Irish links and is based in the town of Carlstadt, just 20km from New York city.

Our exclusive pictures show Mr Drumm at the offices of the business in recent days.

They show how the former Anglo boss has left the tie and suit of his banking days behind him.

He was seen looking relaxed and upbeat in a shirt and jeans after a morning meeting, before driving away from the premises in a Jeep Laredo.

The Irish Independent has learned that he is not an employee of the company, but has been doing consultancy work.

When contacted, the firm declined to comment.

Mr Drumm, who is facing a bankruptcy trial next month in Boston, left Ireland for the US after stepping down as Anglo chief executive in December 2008.

Since then he has ignored repeated requests from gardai to come home to answer questions.

Two former colleagues, Pat Whelan and Willie McAteer, are facing the possibility of jail terms of up to five years after being convicted this week of providing illegal loans to the so-called Maple 10, in a controversial scheme that was put in place to prop up the bank's share price.

However, they were cleared of giving illegal loans to members of former tycoon Sean Quinn's family.

Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick was also acquitted of a range of charges against him.

During the trial, Judge Martin Nolan described Mr Drumm as the "author" of the Maple 10 loans for shares transactions.

Barrister Brendan Grehan, representing Mr Whelan, also described Mr Drumm's absence from the trial as being like 'Hamlet' without the prince.

A file on Mr Drumm's involvement was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions towards the end of 2011 and a decision is expected shortly. Gardai will seek his extradition if the DPP gives the go-ahead.

Safway Atlantic provides scaffolding, hoisting and access solutions to developers and construction sites across New York.

The company is one of the fastest growing scaffolding firms in the US with offices in Chicago, New York and New Jersey.

Former Irish company Atlantic Hoisting was bought by Wisconsin-based scaffolding company Safway Services in 2011.

Set up by brothers John and Michael Breslin, who are originally from Kells, Co Meath, Atlantic was one of the biggest providers of scaffolding and hoisting in New York.

The company has worked on some of the largest projects in the city, including the September 11 Memorial Museum, the Freedom Tower, the Javits Convention Centre on the West Side and the UN building.

The Safway Atlantic office Mr Drumm has been working out of is located in Carlstadt, a small New Jersey town with a population of around 6,000.

The office is situated in one of several industrial estates in the town.

Carlstadt is home to a mixture of blue-collar workers employed locally and middle-class professionals who commute to New York. Mr Drumm had previously been based in Massachusetts and living in the wealthy Boston suburb of Wellesley.

He is understood to have stayed more recently at a number of addresses in New York and New Jersey.

Mr Drumm had also worked for a period as a consultant for Mayo-born developer John McGrail. Mr McGrail's Mayo Group received over €100m in loans from Anglo for projects in the Boston area.

The former bank boss filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts in 2010 but lawyers for the former Anglo Irish Bank and a court-appointed trustee objected, alleging that Mr Drumm fraudulently tried to hide assets and transferred larges sums of cash to his wife Lorraine.


In papers filed with the bankruptcy court, the 47-year-old listed debts of $14.2m (€10.3m), most of which, some €8.5m, is owed to his former employer. This was money he borrowed to buy shares in the bank. The shares are now worthless.

More than three-and-a-half years after petitioning to be discharged from his debt, Mr Drumm's bankruptcy trial will start on May 21.

Houses owned by Mr Drumm and his wife in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and in Malahide, Co Dublin, have already been sold for almost €3m and €1.4m respectively, with part of the proceeds going to creditors.

Mr Drumm took over from Mr FitzPatrick as Anglo chief executive in January 2005 and held the position until the end of 2008.

He had previously worked for the bank in the US.

Irish Independent

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