How Donald Trump’s wrath led to riches for one financial advisor

by Ryan Smith17 Mar 2016
In a way, a top financial advisor owes his 40-room mansion to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. After all, Trump set him on the career path that got him where he is today – by getting him fired.

Finance advisor Marvin Roffman’s 30-year career in securities analysis ended in 1990 when a threatened lawsuit by Trump caused his employer to show him the door, according to a Barron’s story.

What happened to incur Trump’s wrath? Roffman, who worked as a gaming securities analyst for Janney Montgomery Scott, opined to a Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City wouldn’t make it.

The day after the Journal story appeared, Janney – threatened with a lawsuit by Trump – forced Roffman to send a “fawning and groveling” apology letter to Trump. In the letter, Roffman wrote that he had “every hope” that the casino would be a great success.

But that wasn’t good enough for Trump, according to Barron’s. He demanded that Roffman change the words “every hope” to “every expectation. According to Roffman, Trump said he intended to publish the letter.

That was too much for Roffman. Not only did he refuse to make the change – he faxed a retraction of the first letter. At that point, Janney fired him – although the firm insisted to Barron’s that Roffman was dismissed for insubordination.

But Roffman was right about Trump’s casino venture. In 1991, the Taj Mahal defaulted and filed for bankruptcy. Roffman entered a wrongful discharge arbitration claim against Janney and sued Trump for defamation, according to Barron’s.

Roffman was awarded $750,000 by an NYSE arbitration panel, and settled with Trump for an undisclosed amount. But in the meantime, he couldn’t find work as an analyst. That’s when he started a new career as a financial advisor. That career took off; when he retired in 2007, Roffman’s firm managed more than $500 million.

“In a way, I owe Donald Trump a lot, because he forced me into a new career that turned out well,” Roffman told Barron’s. “…But that doesn’t excuse the hell he subjected me to in 1990, sliming my reputation so much that I got fired and couldn’t find another job as an analyst.”

COMMENTS

  • by | 3/17/2016 12:43:45 PM

    then in 1990, you should have better managed your "expectations."

  • by Bob G. | 3/17/2016 12:44:15 PM

    If the purpose of you publication is to reach out to mortgage professionals to keep them informed on news that is relevant to their profession I think your political commentaries are innapropriate, not to mention misguided.

    I'm thinking you should keep your political ideologies to yourself.

  • by Jeff W. | 3/17/2016 12:51:48 PM

    I agree with Bob G. This is a mortgage publication not a political avenue. What's next? Do we get to hear how great Killary is?

Poll

Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?