Jared Kushner wants to protect Trump from his private equity future
Jared Kushner appears to have convinced the private equity market that he will stick with his new company, called Affinity Partners, even if his father-in-law returns to the White House.
The big picture: Private equity is full of former presidential advisers and cabinet members, and Trump’s is no exception.
- Before Kushner opened up shop, former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin founded Liberty Strategic Capital.
Driving the news: Affinity has so far secured just over $3 billion in verbal commitments for its first fund, of which between 75% and 80% are closed, according to a source close to Kushner. A final close is expected within the next six months, while the company’s first deal is expected to occur before the end of March.
- The company plans to focus primarily on U.S. growth capital transactions, including fintech and healthcare, but will also consider buyouts and non-U.S. companies. There were reports last year that Miami-based Affinity was looking for Israeli offices, but it has yet to sign a lease.
- It currently has around twenty employees, nearly half of whom are investors. This includes partners Asad Naqvi, previously with London-based buyout firm Apis, Bret Pearlman, the former Blackstone executive and Elevation Partners who most recently worked for Josh Harris’ family office.
The pitch: As with most DC-to-PE pros, Kushner casts, at least indirectly, limited partners on contacts made during his tenure in political power. Notably through its work in the Middle East, where some US-based companies might want to expand.
- “Jared’s intention is for this to be his long-term opportunity and other than the book he just released, he spends most of his time there,” the source said. “He can’t live his life waiting for what [Trump] may or may not do… People wouldn’t have joined the company if they thought Jared was going to leave in a few years.”
- That said, Affinity’s future could be complicated by a second Trump presidency. Not just in terms of deal flow, given tech’s overall hostility to Trump, but also because some of his LPs are said to be foreign sovereign wealth funds.
- By the way, don’t be surprised if the company’s name changes – so as not to be confused with Affinity Equity Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm founded in 2002.
The bottom line: Kushner defines his future, regardless of how national politics evolve.
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