Asked repeatedly by The Daily Telegraph throughout this week whether Mr Romney had indeed profited from the company, had been aware of the potential conflict of interest, or had taken any action to avoid one, his campaign and Bain Capital declined to comment.
For three years from 1995, Tobin Ryan, who is now 47, was a senior manager at Bain & Company, the consulting firm where Mr Romney made his name. Mr Romney was at the time leading Bain Capital, the firm’s investment arm, inside the same Boston headquarters.
In March 1998, Mr Ryan left Bain to become a vice-president at Imagitas. The company had been co-founded by Tom Beecher, another former Bain consultant. Their company secured the $5 million (£3.2 million) from Bain Capital in June 2000. Mr Ryan declined to say if he was involved in the deal. Mr Beecher declined to be interviewed.
Imagitas itself donated $64,825 (£41,258) to the Republican Governors’ Association between Mr Romney’s appointment as vice-chairman in November 2004 and his stepping down as chairman at the end of 2006, according to filings with the I.R.S. After resigning at the end of his first and only term as Massachusetts governor, he launched his ultimately unsuccessful campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
Tobin Ryan has since 1997 donated $5,250 (£3,349) to his brother Paul’s congressional funds and other Republicans, according to F.E.C. filings.