From left: Laurent Morali, Charlie and Jared Kushner
“Am I the leader of the company?”
Laurent Morali, the new president of Kushner Companies, repeated the question, then answered without a moment’s hesitation. “I am.”
To many New York real estate insiders, that statement may not carry much weight. Kushner Cos. is a family firm with a storied legacy. It was started in 1985 by Joseph Kushner, a refugee from Poland who became one of New Jersey’s famed “Holocaust builders,” and his son Charlie. Charismatic and hypercompetitive, Charlie ran the firm until 2005, when he went to prison for tax fraud and witness tampering. His son, Jared, has been the CEO and public face of the firm for over a decade, and was expected to continue leading it for decades more. Then, Donald Trump launched his presidential bid. To the surprise of many, Jared joined the campaign as an adviser. To the surprise of many more, Trump won, and Jared declared he’d be leaving the firm to take a job in the White House. So here we are.
Morali is now the official head of the company. But he’s not a Kushner. What does that really make him? [more]