BREAKING NEWS

Local Bankers Trust president out after 'newbo evolve'

Bank still owed $1.5 million after extending line of credit

Workers set up a spotlight tower Aug. 2 in front of the main stage during “newbo evolve” preparations in Cedar Rapids. (The Gazette)
Workers set up a spotlight tower Aug. 2 in front of the main stage during “newbo evolve” preparations in Cedar Rapids. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Bankers Trust, which still is owed most of a $2.25 million line of credit it made to GO Cedar Rapids for the August “newbo evolve” festival, has parted ways with market president Pat Deignan, the bank confirmed this week.

“We appreciate his many contributions to the bank and the community,” according to a statement released by bank spokesman Scott Valbert. “To be considerate of all parties involved, we won’t share anything further on that matter.”

Deignan declined to comment when reached Thursday. He had been with Bankers Trust for 16 years, according to his LinkedIn.com profile.

Deignan was involved with the loan negotiations and had expressed some skepticism but ultimately went along with it, according to minutes from a Dec. 20, 2017, GO Cedar Rapids board meeting.

Former GO Cedar Rapids President Aaron McCreight reported to the board that Bankers Trust “agreed to a $1.5 million line on the condition that they get paid back before the city,” according to the minutes.

McCreight, who was seeking a line of credit to help cover upfront expenses after a $500,000 city advance already had been spent, “met with Pat (Deignan) and Casey (Drew, Cedar Rapids finance director) to discuss the wording and how to approach it.”

“The size of the line is roughly what we will have in the Ticketmaster account,” McCreight said, according to the minutes. “We have shared the cash flow with both parties and we know the tickets will sell and the cash will be available. The bank views it as the city money is guaranteed and they only have a guarantee from one source. This is becoming a bigger deal than it needs to be and it will work itself out. Nothing will change (if) we had a second bank.”

Drew told The Gazette his role in the meeting was to ensure the city was repaid before the bank, which is what ultimately happened, not to help GO Cedar Rapids secure a line of credit.

The initial $1.5 million line of credit was later extended, for a total of $2.25 million. But GO Cedar Rapids declared a $2.3 million loss after the three-day festival, which featured headline musical acts Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. Mcreight and director of community events Scott Tallman were fired shortly after.

The organization still owed Bankers Trust $1.5 million when it ceased operations Monday. At this point, no mechanism exists for Bankers Trust — or an untold number of local, regional and national vendors who are owed another $800,000 — to get any of their money.

GO Cedar Rapids closed without making a bankruptcy filing because the organization had no assets. But its 18-member board still is in existence.

Bankers Trust, which is based in Des Moines and is the largest independently owned bank in Iowa with $4.5 billion in total assets, has named Todd Wishman the new market president in Cedar Rapids.

“For the past 15 years, Todd has distinguished himself as both a leader and top producer as part of the Bankers Trust Commercial Banking team. As a leader, Todd has proved himself to be a thoughtful and skilled advocate for his fellow team members,” according to the bank’s statement. “As a lender, he has consistently demonstrated an appropriate mix of sales and credit skills, which will prove to be very effective as he leads our commercial lending efforts throughout Eastern Iowa.”

The bank’s dealings with GO Cedar Rapids are in the past, the organization stated.

“Bankers Trust is ready to turn the page on the GO Cedar Rapids situation,” according to the statement. “We have strong new leadership and a great, committed team in Cedar Rapids. We have our sights set on future growth in Eastern Iowa and continued involvement in the community.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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