Jared Kushner’s investment firm not making many investments

Donald Trump’s son-in-law drawing Congressional scrutiny

Jared Kushner’s Investment Firm Not Making Many Investments
Jared Kushner (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Jared Kushner’s controversial investment firm is missing something: investments.

The former president’s son-in-law hasn’t done much with the nearly $3 billion that various Gulf nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, pledged to Affinity Partners, the Wall Street Journal reported. The firm has been collecting millions in management fees in the interim.

The lack of deals is most stark in Israel, where he has permission to invest Saudi money for the first time ever. Kushner has yet to invest in an Israeli company, however, though he says at least one deal is on the horizon.

While Kushner’s lack of movement is drawing some scrutiny, Ivanka Trump’s husband is saying it’s all part of being a savvy businessperson. Israel’s political turmoil and an investment market crash led to hesitation in the country, not just on his part, but for most private investors for Israeli startups.

During its first two years of operations, Affinity eyed potential deals with more than 1,000 companies. Ultimately, it made deals with only six, agreeing to invest approximately 20 percent of Affinity’s fund, or $700 million. Its biggest investments have included residential solar company Mosaic and United Arab Emirates classified-ads site Dubizzle.

Affinity’s biggest backer has been Saudi Arabia, which pledged $2 billion to Kushner’s company. That quickly drew the attention of the House Oversight Committee, wary of Kushner’s relationship to the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his famed Public Investment Fund.

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Kushner hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, but the possibility of a quid pro quo has been raised due to Kushner’s work as a member of Donald Trump’s administration, as well as the possibility the Saudis could be looking to influence Kushner — and by proxy, Trump — as the former president mounts another bid for the White House.

Some Saudi officials resisted the arrangement to pay massive management fees to Affinity without a guarantee of investment deals. The arrangement isn’t uncommon when looking at more experienced investors, but the Crown Prince pushed over those concerns regarding Kushner.

Affinity landed the big Saudi investment only six months after Kushner stopped working as a senior adviser for the president. During his time in the administration, Kushner was involved in the Abraham Accords, which tried to foster diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab states.

He was also involved in a $110 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia.

Holden Walter-Warner

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