Jared Kushner's Shady $2B Saudi Deal Unprecedented, Says Wall Street Investor: 'I haven't Seen Anything Like This'

Zinger Key Points
  • Kushner's PE firm received 64.5% of the AUM from Saudi Arabia while U.S. investors contributed only a paltry amount of $31 million.
  • Investor Steven Rattner says he does not expect the Saudis to make a lot on their investment anytime soon.

The $2 billion Saudi Investment former President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner received for his private-equity firm Affinity Partners has continued to stir up controversy. Investor and economic analyst Steven Rattner recently said he found the deal to be highly unusual.

What Happened: Jared Kushner spent much of his White House tenure “cozying up” to Saudi Arabia and its crown prince and prime minister Mohammed bin Salman, Rattner tweeted Monday.

The investor noted that, six months after Kushner left Washington, Kushner’s private-equity firm landed $2 billion in investments from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund. Rattner shared a chart showing a breakdown of the sources from which Kushner's Affinity Partners received its assets under management (AUM).

The chart showed that about 64.5% of the AUM came from Saudi Arabia while U.S. investors contributed only a paltry amount of $31 million.

Speaking about the merely 1% funding from U.S. investors, Rattner said that many private-equity funds go outside the U.S. for money. Usually, contributions from Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds make up around 10% or up to 30%, he said.

U.S. private equity firms still raise the vast bulk of their money from the U.S., he said. The investor also said he has never seen Middle East funds contributing to 99% of a U.S. private equity firm’s AUM.

“It is extraordinary, unprecedented. I haven't seen anything like this," he said.

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Shady Deal: Kushner worked very hard in the White House, but it is unclear why he was working hard, said Rattner in an interview with MSNBC on Monday. Trump’s son-in-law received the Saudi funding despite the board of Saudi sovereign fund voting against giving Kushner the money, the financier said.

The board was overruled by the Saudi prince, he added.

“I have been in this business for 40 years. I've never seen somebody get two-thirds of their money from a single investor, ” Rattner said, adding that an additional $200 million likely came separately from UAE and Qatar. About $625 million came from anonymous foreign investors, he added.

During the famous Jan. 6 insurrection, Kushner was in the Middle East, Rattner noted.

He also said that Kushner hasn't done anything with the money he received but gave Trump’s son-in-law the benefit of the doubt. “It is normal to invest the money over a period of several years. So, I don't think that we can draw a firm conclusion yet,” Rattner said.

“If you were the Saudis, I wouldn't count on making a lot on this anytime soon,” he added.

Read Next: Republican Oversight Committee Chair Accuses Donald Trump’s Son-In-Law Of Ethical Breach Over $2B Saudi Deal: ‘Kushner Crossed The Line’

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Posted In: Analyst ColorNewsPoliticsTop StoriesMediaDonald TrumpEurasiaJared KushnerMohammed bin SalmanSteven Rattner
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