Monday, May 27, 2024

Why Media calls Michael Gastauer the Wolf of Canary Wharf

Michael Gastauer is a German billionaire living and working in London. His Bank´s EEA and UK head office is in Canary Wharf an area in London that is often referred to as the financial centre of Europe, similar to Wall Street, being the financial centre of the USA. The UK media started nicknaming Michael Gastauer the “Wolf of Canary Wharf” after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed in October 2018 a civil claim of $165 million in damages against Michael and his US based Bank. Similar to Jordan Belfort´s case which earned him the title “Wolf of Wall Street”, the SEC case against Gastauer involved the allegation of securities fraud. The difference is, Gastauer is a banker that provided accounts to his client Roger Knox, who allegedly committed securities fraud and used Gastauer`s bank to process his money. The SEC´s allegation against Gastauer was therefore not that he had committed securities fraud, but that he “aided and abetted” Roger Knox by providing his companies bank accounts that Knox could use to send and receive funds.

Obviously Gastauer had no knowledge that Knox was committing securities fraud and as the Group CEO of a banking organisation with 3,000 employees and more than 20 million customers, Gastauer had no personal involvement with Knox or his companies. The case against Gastauer and his bank ended with a USD 2 million fine and USD 15 million of frozen Knox`s funds that had to be paid to the SEC. A two million dollar fine is in terms of an SEC proceeding more a slap on the wrist. Initially the case made headlines in the UK and global media, but then eventually died down because the outcome was less spectacular than expected.

A Flamboyant Private Life 

Like the Wolf of Wall Street, Michael Gastauer is also known for his flamboyant lifestyle. He is a regular fixture on London’s social scene, and has been seen cavorting with supermodels, hosting private parties on his Lurssen Yacht or  travelling in his Gulfstream to meet friends and business partners. Living an extravagant lifestyle that most people can only dream of. For some, he serves as a source of inspiration, others striving to achieve success in the financial world are seeing him as a role model.

Michael has two adult children from his first marriage with a German actress. With his twelve year younger current wife Adriana, a Romanian top model, he has a three years old son. Michael and his wife are friends with several international celebrities and are usual guests on red carpet events around the world.

Michael’s parties at luxurious locations with beautiful people as entertainment became a regular occurrence. In September 2017 when his Bank Black Banx celebrated its Moscow office opening at the Ritz Hotel in Moscow, Gastauer invited, besides his Oligarch friends,  50 Russian models for his VIP guests’ enjoyment.

In December 2017, Gastauer flew 250 global staff members of Black Banx to Frankfurt (Germany) for celebrating the company’s 24 months anniversary. Of course, this ended up in a huge party serving over 1,200 bottles of Dom Perignon and Crystal rose to his employees and guests.

This kind of extravagance and Michael’s charismatic personality is what attracts the media to compare him with Leonardo Dicaprio’s role in “Wolf of Wall Street”. Some people say Michael has the look and style that reminds you of Leonardo Dicaprio. Given there is only a three week age difference between the two, you could confuse one with the other when seeing them acting, one in real life the other in the movies.

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