Dennis Shields has died. The on/off boyfriend of Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel was found dead at his Trump Tower home on Friday. The Medical Examiner’s office is currently investigating Shields’ cause of death, which the New York Post has said may have been a drug overdose. He was 51.
This shocking news has prompted many to wonder just how much Shields made while he was alive, and how much he was worth at the time of his death. According to Earn The Necklace, he had an estimated net worth of $11 million. Read on to learn how Shields made his fortune and what he liked to spend his money on.
1. He Co-Founded the Finance Company YieldStreet In 2015
Shields was born to an affluent family. According to E! Online, his mother Gail was a lawyer and his father Lawrence was a neurologist. He ultimately decided to go into finance, however, and after earning an M.A. in public relations from New York University, Shields became a banker. He’s since gone to found several different financial and crowd-funding companies. He helped create the American Legal Finance Association (ALFA), and from June 1996 to May 2002, he was the president and CEO of HealthShield Capital Corporation.
In 2015, Shields co-founded the financial service company YieldStreet. The company provides access to asset based investments and allows average consumers to “participate in opportunities with low market correlation and target yields.”
On his Linkedin profile, Shields referred to himself as a “serial entrepreneur in the specialty finance space” and a “philanthropist.” He also said that he “created the concept of and founded the only bank in the United States to understand and meet the needs of the trial bar.”
2. He Was the Chairman & Founder of Esquire Bank
Shields founded the Esquire Bank in 2007. On the company’s LinkedIn profile, the mission statement read: “Esquire Bank is a full service bank founded by attorneys for attorneys. We are deeply aligned with the trial bar and cognizant of the unique needs and cash flow issues of the contingency fee practice. Esquire Bank provides customized banking and business solutions to service those [in need].”
In addition to being the founder of the company, Shields served as the executive chairman. This standing netted him an annual salary of $475K, along with bonuses and stock option points.