… Thomas Borer, Ex-Ambassador It is not always easy to be Thomas Borer. The name inevitably reminds you of the scandal that led him, then Switzerland’s youngest ambassador, to resign just three years after his posting to Berlin.
The egg walk in a few words: a photographer takes dim photos, a Berlin make-up artist tells stories, Blick headlines and for an early summer two countries puzzled over an alleged love affair. The rumors cannot get caught. Compensation for pain and suffering of CHF 1 million and one of the rare excuses from the Ringier publishing house are all that is left in the end.
That was almost two decades ago. Borer has not been quiet since then. Hardly any other former diplomat appears in the press with such regularity as he does. Often times the headlines are not in his favor. His commitment to the government of Kazakhstan and the influence on SVP National Councilor Christian Miesch brought him an investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in 2018 because of puzzling cash flows.
And just last month, a few parliamentarians expressed their displeasure because, as a lobbyist on behalf of Boeing, he apparently vied intensely for their support for the Super Hornet fighter jets. The 63-year-old has long since turned the art of diplomacy into face value. His consulting firm Dr. Borer Consulting, which he founded after leaving the civil service, employs around twenty people. “The value of a network is the only constant,” says the website.
Network: It is Borer’s greatest asset. He’s not that intelligent, he claims with no apparent irony. “But I find more intelligent employees and give them a lot of freedom. And I know how to maintain long-term relationships. I always knew that and always did.
“The humility with which he describes himself as ’not that intelligent‘ is part of the game. A certain warmth and charm as well. And Borer can do it. If he’s not winning politicians in Bern, he’s involved in takeovers, mergers and private equity as a consultant, looking for companies for investors and vice versa. Also outside of Switzerland.
In the United States, he is in contact with David Rubenstein, the wealthy founder of the private equity giant Carlyle. If he recommends Thomas Borer from Switzerland for a deal, that has weight. Networking in the USA goes back a long way. The time before Berlin, when Borer, as head of the Switzerland-Second World War Task Force, represented the Confederation in the conflict over dormant assets of Jewish victims. In 2005, an assignment brought him to the office of then US Senator Barack Obama, with whom he spoke about the tax conflict.
Borer’s Kassandrar calls that the financial center would come under an avalanche faded away. A: “I said so,” cannot be wrested from the Basel native today. Why also. A diplomat knows and is silent. And he remains a diplomat – even if not in the narrower sense.
Going back to the public service, possibly even as a politician, is out of the question for him. “J’ai donne,” he says. «I’ve had two wonderful careers and I don’t want to miss any. And it’s definitely more pleasant not to be in the newspaper every day. “ In 1998, Stefan Krähenbühl Thomas Borer, as head of the task force, announced that an agreement had been reached in the dispute over Jewish assets at Swiss banks.