Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has just sent the clearest signal yet that he likely wouldn't rejoin a potential second Trump Administration (despite being one of the more successful cabinet members) via reports that the ex-Goldmanite will raise $2.5 billion for a new private equity fund.
Mnuchin isn't the only industry giant who is launching a new PE fund amid an explosion of dealmaking spurred in part by the Fed's policy response to the pandemic. Back in July, former Apollo founder Josh Harris announced fundraising plans for his own billion-dollar fund.
The news of Mnuchin's fund comes via Bloomberg.
Absolutely amazing SCOOP from @HeatherPerlberg and @sonalibasak:— Brian Chappatta (@BChappatta) September 20, 2021
*STEVEN MNUCHIN RAISES $2.5 BILLION FOR PRIVATE EQUITY FUND
"Most of the money is from sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund." more on @TheTerminal
According to the report, most of the money will come from the Middle East, including from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. Remember, Mnuchin was a key player who helped build the Trump Administration's increased closeness with the Middle East. Trump memorably visited Saudi Arabia for his first public official visit after taking office.
Mnuchin's success in raising the money is just the latest evidence that, far from being "ostracized" by polite society, many members of President Trump's former inner circle are moving on to big things. After spending nearly 2 decades at Goldman, Mnuchin famously reaped a massive windfall during the housing bust via being chairman of OneWest (formerly IndyMac) a failing mortgage provider that had been taken over by the FDIC before Mnuchin and his billionaire partners rescued and transformed it into a "foreclosure machine", helping Mnuchin and his partners make hundreds of millions in profits while throwing thousands out of their homes. More recently, Mnuchin ran a hedge fund called Dune Capital Management. Before serving as Trump's Treasury Secretary, he stepped up to become the Trump 2016 campaign's chief fundraiser.
Mnuchin's fund isn't exactly a secret, or a surprise (though the fact that it has raised so much from the Middle East is certainly newsworthy). Back in July, Mnuchin appeared on CNBC to generate press for his PE firm's $275MM investment in Cyberreason, a company that focuses on cyber security and preventing cyber attacks.
Such a firm would probably be well positioned to win some juicy government contracts if Trump or another GOPer wins back control of the White House.
Notably, the latest news about Mnuchin's PE firm follows last week's backlash to revelations by the regional Fed banks that Fed presidents including Robert Kaplan and Eric Rosengren actively traded in 2020, with Kaplan having placed the biggest trades. The news led Boston's Eric Rosengren and Kaplan to dump their holdings - just before stocks, which have been sliding all month, took another leg lower.