How the firm behind Trump’s $175 million bond deal made it happen

Knight Specialty Insurance Provides $175 Million Bond to Former President Donald Trump, Prompting Debate on Collateral and Business Ties

Knight Specialty Insurance, a California-based company known for offering subprime auto loans to buyers with lower credit scores, recently announced that it had underwritten a $175 million bond for former President Donald Trump in New York. In an interview with CNN, Don Hankey, the chairman and majority shareholder of Knight Specialty Insurance, revealed that the deal was quickly put together, with Trump providing all cash as collateral.

Hankey, who has supported Trump’s presidential campaigns in the past, reached out to the Trump Organization last month when Trump faced challenges in securing a $464 million bond. After discussions about a bond of that size, the amount was eventually reduced to $175 million by a New York appeals court. Trump initially planned to use a mix of investment-grade bonds and cash as collateral but ended up using all cash, though the source of the $175 million cash remains unknown.

Hankey confirmed that he and his family have donated to Trump’s campaigns in the past and intend to support him in 2024. While he has not directly heard from the president, Eric Trump reached out to thank him for the recent business deal. This is not the first time that Hankey’s business interests have intersected with Trump’s – Axos Bank, where Hankey is a leading shareholder, provided a $100 million loan to refinance the mortgage on Trump Tower in 2022, although Hankey was not initially aware of the loan.

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