Washington — Steven Mnuchin has raised $ 2.5 billion in his new private equity fund, raised investment from sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, and traveled extensively as Treasury Secretary, according to people familiar with the matter. ..
The fund, launched earlier this year by former President Donald J. Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, focuses on investing in technology and financial services. Earlier this summer, Mnuchin opened an office in Tel Aviv, Israel, raising funds from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.
Financing was previously reported by Bloomberg News.
Former Goldman Sachs banker, film investor and hedge fund manager, Mnuchin continues to build wealth by leveraging his experience and contacts at the Ministry of Finance. When he took on the role of Treasury in 2017, his net worth was estimated at about $ 400 million.
The size of Mr Mnuchin’s fund and the investment from the country he traveled as Treasury Secretary raised questions about whether he used his government role to enrich himself.
Citizens of responsibility and ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, filed a proceeding this year seeking information on the cost of a widespread trip to the Middle East during his tenure.
“Mnuchin should not have made an official decision based on how he could benefit after his resignation. If so, he would have to be held accountable,” the group said.
As Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin led the Trump administration’s economic policies, supported the Republican Party’s efforts to cut taxes in 2017, and represented the United States in many international forums. Ultimately, tax law did not rule out special treatment for “carry interests” that benefit hedge fund managers and private-equity executives under intense lobbying pressure from the industry.
Mnuchin also spent a considerable amount of time focusing on sanctions policy and made an annual trip to the Middle East as part of his efforts to set up a Riyadh-based terrorist financing targeting center. While in Saudi Arabia, Mnuchin repeatedly visited the Future Investment Initiative, a business conference organized by the Public Investment Fund known as Davos in the Desert.
In January 2021, Mnuchin visited Saudi Arabia less than two weeks after his retirement and met with the Minister of Finance. Discuss counterterrorism and illegal finances.. Traveling to the Middle East, which includes stops in Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, has been shortened in Mr. Trump’s chaotic transition process.
Mnuchin returned to the Middle East this year while raising and operating.
During his trip to Israel in June, he told The Jerusalem Post that he would set up an office for the strength of the country in the fund’s focus cybersecurity and financial technology sectors.
“We want to be considered one of the best strategic partners in these areas,” Mnuchin told The Jerusalem Post.
In July, Mnuchin’s fund, Liberty Strategic Capital, led an investment of $ 275 million in Cybereason, a cybersecurity company focused on ransomware attacks.
Several former Treasury officials have joined Mr Mnuchin’s new venture. They include his former Chief of Staff, Eli Miller, and his legal counsel, Brian Calanan. Joseph F. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is also a senior advisor.
A Liberty spokesman did not comment on the status of funding.
The Ethics Group is also paying attention to travel expenses after Mnuchin’s resignation, as Mnuchin continued to be protected by the Secret Service for another six months.
The Washington Post reported last week that the federal government paid thousands of dollars to secret service agents when Mnuchin traveled to Israel and Qatar this summer and stayed in The St. Regis Doha.