Age 39 | Vice president, financial institutions, Bankers Trust Co.

Having worked at Bankers Trust Co. during high school as a mailroom clerk and later as a teller, John Ruan IV had always kept the idea of a career at Bankers Trust in the back of his mind.

Rather than going to work immediately for the bank owned by his family, however, Ruan earned a history degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a law degree from the University of Iowa. He then joined LaSalle Bank in Chicago, where he worked from 2002 to 2007.

“After law school, I had always wanted to live in a big city,” said Ruan, who was also drawn by the Cubs and friends from Iowa who had moved there. A few years later, after getting married and having a couple of children, “Des Moines was a lot more appealing at that point.”

He and his wife, Alison, now have three children, ages 7, 6 and 4.

During his five years with LaSalle Bank, Ruan first worked as an attorney, then transitioned to credit analyst and later a loan officer. For the past four years with Bankers Trust, Ruan has specialized in correspondent banking and currently serves as vice president for financial institutions. The financial institutions group provides credit and other banking services to correspondent banks in Iowa and surrounding states.

“I thought that was a good opportunity to get around the state and learn about banking from other bankers,” he said.

In recommending Ruan as a Forty Under 40, Bankers Trust President and CEO Suku Radia said he’s impressed with his enthusiasm, work ethic and leadership skills. “His humility is remarkable and he is always willing to go the extra mile,” Radia wrote.

Ruan’s extra miles extend toward his involvement with the boards of the Des Moines Symphony, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa and the Riverfront YMCA.

“Just having a thriving downtown is something I’d like to work towards,” he said. “I think with the YMCA and the symphony (involvement), that’s a small part of it.”

The Des Moines Symphony’s music director, Joseph Giunta, said that Ruan is “well on his way to becoming the next generation of selfless contributors in the long line of people that make a difference in Greater Des Moines.”

His family’s tremendous business and philanthropic legacy is not something Ruan dwells on.

“Growing up here in Des Moines, it’s always been a part of my life,” he said. “I don’t think about it too much; I’ve always had to deal with that. I wouldn’t even try to match what my grandfather did. I just try to do the best I can.”


Five reasons he’s a 40:

• Influential banker responsible for a loan portfolio of more than $90 million in assets.

• Carries on the family tradition of philanthropy, selfless giving.

• Active on the boards of civic organizations, including the Des Moines Symphony, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa and the Riverfront YMCA.

• Serves on the legislative committee of the Iowa Bankers Association.

• Member of the Blank Park Zoo Capital Campaign committee.

Mentor: John Ruan III

Fun fact:
Considered a legislative career in Washington, D.C., “but decided I didn’t want to do that the rest of my life.”


Presenting the 2013 winners:

Desmund Adams, Principal, AdamsDouglas
Lindsay Alderman, Client operations manager, LightEdge Solutions Inc.
Erica Axiotis, Director of development, Mercy Foundation
Kate Banasiak, President and CEO, Diversified Management Services Inc.
Erin Beamis, Senior vice president of logistics and operations, IronWorks
Jonathan Brendemuehl, Marketing events coordinator, Bankers Trust Co.
Curtis Brown, Economic development director, city of Ankeny
Matt Connolly, President, Generation Green Builders Co.
Lawrence Cunningham, Director of business development, Catchfire Media LLC
Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, Director of community investment and initiatives, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Josh Fleming, Digital strategy director, Lessing-Flynn Advertising Co.
Felix Gallagher, Principal, PharmServ Solutions
Lori Gelhaar, Director of career services/ corporate relations, Kaplan University
Tina Gray Carstensen, Marketing coordinator, Shive-Hattery Inc.
Shane Greenleaf, Vice president/commercial banker, First American Bank
Danielle Haindfield, Shareholder attorney, Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
Emily Harris, Patent attorney and shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm
Matthew Harris, Division administrator, Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Angela Hilbert, Sales and marketing director, Deerfield Retirement Community
Joey Hinke, President, Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency Inc.
Hannah Inman, Director of communications, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Keegan Kautzky, Director of national education programs, The World Food Prize Foundationn
John Lozier, Pediatric interventional cardiologist, Pediatric Cardiology P.C.
Dennis McDaniel, Police chief, Windsor Heights
Rachel McLean, Vice president/consultant, Ruan Cos
John Mickelson, Associate managing director, The PrivateBank & Trust Co.
Keith Olson, Commercial associate, NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co.
Matt Ostanik, President, Submittal Exchange LLC
Benjamin Page, Director, Des Moines park and recreation
Dustin Peterson, Partner, McGladrey LLP
Nick Renkoski, Director of marketing and communications, Des Moines Metro Opera
Rachel Rowley, Partner, BrownWinick PLC
John Ruan IV, Vice president, financial institutions, Bankers Trust Co.
Jennifer Soma, Business lead, IDI Actuarial and Product Development Group, Principal Financial Group Inc.
Heather Starr, Real estate agent, RE/MAX Innovations
Aimee Staudt, Director of development, Knapp Properties Inc.
Courtney Strutt Todd, Shareholder attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm
Nikki Sylverson, Event Director, Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation
Howard Tempero, Experience design strategist, Spindustry Digital
Tony Timm, Executive director, Central Iowa Shelter & Services