The Trump administration tapped the son of a close business partner of the Kushner family to become ambassador to Chile. Andrew Gellert, president of the Gellert Global Group, is the son of George Gellert, who owns a major stake in Kushner Companies and Vornado Realty Trust’s 666 Fifth Avenue.
The older Gellert has a close relationship with developer Charles Kushner, the father of senior White House advisor and former Kushner Companies CEO Jared Kushner, Bloomberg reported. Apart from 666 Fifth, he was also involved in several of Kushner’s multifamily deals and co-guaranteed loans on Kushner-owned properties, according to Bloomberg.The two men both own a stake in Regal Bank, a New Jersey-based lender.
It is common for U.S. presidents to pick campaign donors as ambassadors, but picking business associates is rare, Bloomberg reported.
“Andy is a brilliant young man who has been instrumental in building a very successful family business,” Charles Kushner told Bloomberg via a spokesperson. “Our country is fortunate to have Andy serve in such an important ambassadorship.”
The younger Gellert knows Chile: the family company has exported dried fruit and nuts from the Latin American country. But he speaks only basic Spanish.
The Kushner family also has another connection to Chile: The home Jared and wife Ivanka Trump are renting in Washington, D.C. is owned by Andronico Luksic, a Chilean billionaire who owns mines and also has interests in the U.S.
Kushner Companies did not comment beyond what was in the Bloomberg report. Charles last week said he was not concerned about federal investigations into the family business. He also said 2017 was a record year in terms of transactions for the company. [Bloomberg] — Konrad Putzier