Luke Thorburn, an associate at Goldman Sachs wealth management division, has been placed on paid leave. The American financial services firm took the step after discovering that Thorburn had not disclosed his business of selling hats inspired by Donald Trump, the front runner for the Republican nomination.
Thorburn has apparently launched a website which sells caps that have slogans from Trump's campaign such as "Make America Great Again". According to a source familiar with this situation, the Manhattan-headquartered company allows its employees to earn money from a secondary source such as a business but expects the same to be registered with it. The source said Thorburn had not registered his business with Goldman Sachs and when asked to explain the same gave inconsistent responses, following which it placed him on a paid administrative leave.
Apart from running such a business, The New York Times revealed that Thorburn was the only Goldman employee who donated money to Trump's presidential campaign during the second half of 2015. The Federal Election Commission records show that this donation amount stood at $534.58 (€382.89, $491.16).
This is in contrast with other Goldman employees, who have donated to other political campaigns but not to Trump. For instance, up until the last week of February, the total amount donated by the company's employees towards the campaign of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was $200,000 and to Hillary Clinton, the front runner for the Democratic party's nomination, was $94,000.
According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Wall Street's self-regulatory body, Thorburn has been working for Goldman Sachs (New York) since May 2014 and his previous work experience includes stints at JBWere, a financial services group in Australia, PwC, Mr Corks Liquor and the Regatta Hotel in Brisbane.
While the Facebook page of Thorburn's website describes his company as a "grass roots, Christian movement specialising in Christian apparel and accessories", his website, makechristianitygreatagain.com, sells products such as red and blue peaked caps and bumper stickers. The Twitter account, @greatnesstohim, to which it is linked provides ads for hats with passages from scripture.