A senior funding banker at UniCredit was moonlighting as a extremely paid monetary adviser to Markus Braun’s family office till simply earlier than Wirecard’s collapse, entitling her to round €800,000 in fee from the previous chief government of the disgraced German group.
Jana Hecker, a former banker at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, joined UniCredit as head of world syndicate and capital markets in March 2020. In the next three months earlier than Wirecard collapsed into insolvency final June, she spent greater than 150 hours working for Braun in a non-public capability, in line with paperwork reviewed by the Financial Times. Between February and May 2020, she suggested Braun on the refinancing of €110m in loans which Deutsche Bank needed to terminate.
Charging a day fee of €5,000 and a success-related payout, Hecker interacted with Wall Street banks and personal fairness companies on Braun’s behalf. Eventually, she negotiated two loans with tiny German lender Oldenburgische Landesbank (OLB) and an funding fund managed by German entrepreneur Oliver Samwer, chief government of Rocket Internet.
Hecker had already labored with Braun in her earlier place at Deutsche Bank. She started work on the then-billionaire’s refinancing venture in late February 2020, simply days earlier than she started her new job on the Italian lender, the place she is accountable for international fairness capital markets origination and execution actions.
UniCredit and Hecker declined to remark.
Braun had been in extreme monetary troubles from late 2019, when Deutsche Bank advised its longstanding consumer that it needed to terminate a €150m margin mortgage facility that was arrange two years earlier. The chief government, who was Wirecard’s largest shareholder, had pledged half of his 7 per cent stake as collateral. Germany’s largest lender severed the mortgage after the Financial Times raised severe allegations about fraudulent accounting in 2019, triggering a particular audit into Wirecard’s monetary reporting by KPMG.
Documents present that in January 2020 Braun confronted the upcoming pressured sale of elements of his shares pledged to Deutsche Bank as he was unable to supply sufficient money to the lender. In a last-minute resolution, he took an unsecured €35m mortgage from Wirecard Bank, which was paid out earlier than the group’s supervisory board was knowledgeable concerning the transaction.
Wirecard’s supervisory board pressured Braun to repay the mortgage, which bore a 12.55 per cent annual rate of interest, by the top of March, placing him beneath monumental stress to discover a everlasting refinancing. Braun turned to Hecker, who throughout her time at Deutsche Bank had helped to arrange the unique margin mortgage.
After the profitable refinancing, on June 1 final yr Hecker advised Braun’s sister Marlies Braun in an electronic mail that “it was a great pleasure to work so closely with you and your brother and to support you with regard to the refinancing of [MB Beteiligungsgesellschaft]” — Braun’s family office.
Hecker despatched over an in depth abstract of her work for the family office since late February, detailing 156.5 hours of labor, of which greater than 97 per cent was executed between March and May.
“I happily employed my expertise and market knowledge as well as my network and my standing to refinance your legacy loans,” she advised Marlies Braun. She added that the atmosphere for the refinancing had been troublesome, resulting from risky markets in the course of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and the “market perceptions of the KPMG report’s findings”.
The devastating particular audit by the Big Four accountancy agency, which was printed in late April, couldn’t show the existence of huge elements of Wirecard’s Asian enterprise and billions of company money. Wirecard’s shares tumbled 31 per cent on the day when the outcomes of the audit have been printed.
In the June 1 electronic mail, Hecker pointed to her contractual settlement with the family office that entitled her to some €100,000 in mounted pay and a performance-related bonus of between €510,000 and €870,000.
“I am convinced that I was able to provide significant added value,” she wrote, asking Marlies Braun to provide you with a concrete proposal for her pay. “We can agree a longer-running compensation that aligns our mutual interest, for example in the form of a participation in share price gains in Wirecard which were secured by the refinancing,” she added.
In a subsequent electronic mail to her brother on June 3, Marlies Braun steered paying Hecker round €790,000 for the work executed. “Ideally, let’s discuss this calmly over the weekend,” she advised him.
Two folks acquainted with the small print advised the FT that “not a single cent” was ever paid out to Hecker as Wirecard collapsed weeks later.
Braun misplaced his job at Wirecard and was subsequently arrested by Munich police whereas his lenders have been rushed to promote down his shares in a determined try to chop their publicity to the funds firm because it imploded.
Braun, who has been in police custody since final summer season, is accused by Munich prosecutors of being the linchpin of a legal racket that carried out “fraud in the billions”. He denies all wrongdoing.
A lawyer representing Markus Braun, and Marlies Braun declined to touch upon Hecker’s advisory work.