Maybe You Don’t Want to Be In Business With Jared Kushner
He’s “re-entering the private sector” with his own financial firm — so as a public service, my own tale of doing a deal with him
Jared Kushner, a Reuters story recently reported, “is stepping away from politics for the foreseeable future” and “re-entering the private sector.”
Which made me think: re-enter the private sector?
What does that even mean for a real estate heir married to a real estate heiress with a combined inherited fortune of $200 to $800 million that generates an income of $2 to $5 million a month? Or who as the U.S. Middle East policy czar in 2017, weeks after Qatar declined to bail out his family company’s disastrous Manhattan skyscraper investment, got his father-in-law the president to support a strange seven-month military blockade of our ally Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries — shortly after which hundreds of millions in Qatari government money gushed into the Kushner Companies and whisked away their failed Manhattan investment?
The vehicle for Jared Kushner’s official private-sector re-entry is his new financial firm Affinity Partners, which will seek, among other things, to “pursue regional investments to connect Israel’s economy…and the Gulf.” It will be based in Miami, where he and Ivanka Trump have paid Julio Iglesias $32 million for a 2-acre lot on a 294-acre private island in Biscayne Bay.¹
Back during the first phase of his private-sector career I came to be involved in a small business deal with him. So his re-entry now seems like an apt moment to share a first-hand epistolary glimpse of what that was like.
In the summer of 2006, just before his billionaire real estate developer father was released from federal prison (illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, witness tampering), 25-year-old Jared, at NYU getting his MBA, bought The New York Observer, a stylish and unprofitable little Manhattan weekly. He spent $10 million of his family’s money––four times the amount the old man was still paying Harvard in installments to ensure the admission of Jared (in 1999) and his younger brother (in 2004).