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Opinion

Rankin’s prenup Packers a punch

Mariah Carey makes James Packer sing by using a draft prenup from ex-Deutsche's Rob Rankin – but don't mention clawbacks…

Mariah Carey James Packer-R-600
Singer Mariah Carey arrives with billionaire James Packer for the premiere of "The Intern" in New York September 21, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RTX1RSH5
© Lucas Jackson / Reuters/REUTERS

Vision of love: Mariah Carey and James Packer…

Euromoney is not one for celebrity tittle-tattle, so when a friend in the market sent over a link to a story on gossip website TMZ about Aussie businessman James Packer’s putative prenup with his now ex-fiancée, the noted diva Mariah Carey, we weren’t quite sure what to make of it.

But on careful reading of the text dotted amid pictures of the once-happy couple, one sentence stood out: “We’re told Mariah’s people got the draft from Packer’s exec, Robert Rankin, and rejected it as ‘tacky and insulting’,” exclaimed the itself-tacky website.

Could that be the same Rob Rankin who enjoyed a stellar career in the investment banking industry, running Asia-Pacific operations for both UBS and Deutsche, before a brief and less than illustrious stint as co-head of Deutsche’s global corporate banking and securities arm?

Indeed it is. Rankin left Deutsche at the end of 2014 to become CEO of his fellow Australian Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings.

When he joined, he probably didn’t expect to be responsible for contracts that included alleged clauses such as: “James will pay Mariah, and Mariah shall accept, $6 million dollars per year for each full year of marriage, up to a maximum of $30 million … adjusted pro-rata on a weekly basis [$151,385 per week].”

Clawbacks

Such sums will not likely have raised too many eyebrows for an executive who worked for an institution where senior management often took home eight-figure annual compensation packages.

No doubt in his banking career, Rankin was used to dealing with travel policies, but probably not one which stated: “James shall provide the use of one private aircraft, of his selection, for Mariah's personal use, or that of her children and nannies only when James, in his sole discretion, determines it is appropriate to do so.”

Sadly all the hard work has come to nothing as the couple have now split, although Carey is reportedly hanging on to the $10 million engagement ring Packer gave her.

Will Packer try to claw that back with Rankin’s help?

Clawbacks are probably not a subject that Rankin wants to hear about, given noises emanating from the new Deutsche Bank regime about the possibility of withholding or recovering compensation from senior executives, including those that used to work in the investment bank, as the once-powerful German bank looks to put its house in order. 

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