Jared Kushner’s private equity firm picked up a $2 billion investment from a fund led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
The Public Investment Fund made the investment in Affinity Partners six months after Kushner’s departure as a senior adviser in his father-in-law’s White House, the New York Times reported.
The deal came despite the objections of a panel that screens investments on behalf of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. The panel’s concerns included inexperienced management, taking on too much risk, an “excessive” asset management fee and public relations pushback.
Kushner planned to raise $7 billion, but recent public filings with the SEC reported by the Times show his main fund only has $2.5 billion under management, meaning the bulk is from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
The Saudi fund also invested around the same time with Liberty Strategic Capital, a firm run by former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Times noted that despite having a clearer focus and more experienced management, Mnuchin’s fund secured only half as much — $1 billion.
The Times reported in November Kushner was looking towards the Persian Gulf to raise money for his Miami-based firm, including eyeing Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Kushner’s investment fund has drawn scrutiny from ethics watchdogs because of his time spent cultivating a relationship with the crown prince while serving as a government employee, along with Trump’s potential presidential run in 2024.
Kushner stepped down as CEO of his family’s real estate company in January 2017 before moving to Washington, D.C. to join the Trump administration. While working in the White House, Kushner was involved with the Abraham Accords, which aimed to open diplomatic relations with Israel and Arab states, and $110 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over 10 years.
[NYT] — Holden Walter-Warner