Trump Treasury Pick Mnuchin Is Much Richer Than Most People Thought
This story, originally published Jan. 11, 2017, has been updated to reflect new, additional disclosures from Mnuchin before his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 19.
He may not quite be a billionaire like several other Donald Trump cabinet picks, but Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin isn’t too far off.
Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs (GS) banker and Hollywood financier, revealed his net worth Tuesday in his first financial disclosure, filed in advance of his upcoming Senate confirmation hearings. While the Wall Street veteran was already considered wealthy, at least by civil-servant standards, it turns out Mnuchin is a lot richer than previously estimated — as much as 10 times richer, in fact.
A Fortune analysis of the public filings found that Mnuchin’s net worth could be as high as $500 million — on top of which he has pulled in recent additional income of nearly $70 million. (Federal financial disclosure forms allow cabinet nominees to declare the value of their assets in ranges rather than fixed dollar amounts.) Mnuchin’s initial disclosures showed that he had a net worth of as much as $400 million, but just before his confirmation hearing Jan. 19, he subsequently disclosed additional real estate holdings valued at nearly $100 million, which he said his lawyer had mistakenly omitted from the first document.
That puts an extra zero on an earlier estimate, reported in November by Fox Business, which pegged Mnuchin’s net worth at $40 million. It’s also exponentially greater than the net worth of current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who had assets worth at most $1.7 million when he was confirmed for the office in 2013, according to CNN Money.
Goldman Sachs accounts for only a fraction of the overall wealth of Mnuchin, whose financial portfolio is also much more wide-ranging than that of his predecessors. Along with relatively mundane stock holdings and retirement accounts, Mnuchin owns expensive art, movie deal rights, and stakes in several hedge funds—including some that have recently faced controversy and accusations of illegal activity.
For example, Mnuchin has multi-million dollar investments in an Omega Advisors hedge fund run by Leon Cooperman, who was recently charged with insider trading, as well as in a hedge fund managed by Och-Ziff (OZM), which last year pleaded guilty to foreign bribery.
He also has as much as $2 million invested in a hedge fund run by John Paulson, one of Trump’s economic advisors, whose firm has recently suffered heavy outflows, in part due to poor performance.
Along with his financial disclosure, Mnuchin included a letter in which he pledged to sell his stakes in the hedge funds, as well as many of his stocks and other investments, within three months if he is confirmed for the Treasury role. The stock holdings Mnuchin promised to sell include as much as $5 million in Goldman Sachs as well as more than $1 million worth of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), Warren Buffett’s company.
He will also probably have to stop serving as an executive producer for films, after racking up credits on hits from “Avatar” to recent biopic “Sully,” which starred Tom Hanks. Mnuchin said he would divest his entertainment company within six months after he is confirmed.
Besides his investments, Mnuchin has also pulled in significant income from prior jobs, including at banks OneWest and CIT Group (CIT). (Mnuchin was CEO and principal owner of OneWest for several years before CIT acquired it in 2015; he subsequently served on CIT’s board.) Those banks have become mired in scandal for their allegedly discriminatory activities during Mnuchin’s tenure. Mnuchin received a nearly $11 million severance package when he resigned from CIT last year, on top of more than $20 million in total pay.
The former banker also has a valuable art collection, which he presumably won’t be divesting. It includes a Willem de Kooning oil painting called “Untitled III” from 1978, valued at up to $25 million, according to the disclosure. Mnuchin’s father, Robert Mnuchin, who once also worked at Goldman Sachs, is an art dealer with an eponymous gallery in New York.
Update: An earlier version of this story, published Jan. 11, 2017, reported Mnuchin’s net worth was as much as $400 million. This article has been updated to reflect new, additional disclosures from Mnuchin before his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 19, which add nearly $100 million to his assets, for a total net worth of as much as $500 million.