Jared Kushner, recently appointed as one of Donald Trump’s senior advisers, has announced plans to divest his property and business interests. It is unclear what prompted the move, whether public perception or advice from Donald Trump, but it has certainly put to bed what could have been a long-term conflict of interests. At a time when Donald Trump is under immense pressure, close scrutiny of one of his most trusted advisers was the last thing he needed!
666 Fifth Avenue
Much of the speculation regarding Jared Kushner property assets has surrounded his equity stake in 666 Fifth Avenue. While many outside of the US may not be aware of the relevance of this address it was the most expensive single building transaction in the history of Manhattan when acquired back in 2007. The Kushner Company acquired the property for a staggering $1.8 billion, a record which has since been topped, although a stake was sold to a joint venture partner by the name of Vornado Realty Trust in 2011.
There is yet another further complication in the life of Jared Kushner as he is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. He has therefore also announced plans to step down from his role as CEO of Kushner Companies both in terms of real estate investment and other business interests. His equity stake in 666 Fifth Avenue will be sold to a family trust over which he will have no control or influence.
The New York Observer
Through one of his many companies Jared Kushner also owns The New York Observer which he purchased back in 2006. At a time when public perception of Donald Trump’s policies is headline news it is interesting to see Kushner announcing plans to sell this particular asset to a family trust. This will remove any influence Jared Kushner may have over the newspaper but leave open the option of buying back the media outlet when his time at the White House is over.
Personal wealth of Jared Kushner
There has been much speculation about the personal wealth of Jared Kushner but the reality is that nobody knows for sure how much he is worth. We can assume he has significant wealth behind them having initially acquired the above asset for $1.8 billion in 2007. As he has yet to run for public office or held a position with the government there has been no obligation for him to publish his tax affairs, debts and assets. What we do know is that he has a very close working relationship with the Trump family and this move to distance himself from potential conflicts of interest is sensible.
It is likely that Donald Trump’s business affairs, and his intention to distance himself from day-to-day management, will be more complicated and take more time to resolve. However, we only need to look at the recent news to see that he has more than enough on his hands in the White House. Initially it was his business interests and potential conflict of interests which caught the headlines but recent changes to the USA’s immigration policy have caused not only headlines around the world but protests.