Ex-Trump Acting Chief of Staff Mulvaney Starting Hedge Fund

Mick Mulvaney, a Trump administration veteran who served as acting White House chief of staff, is launching a hedge fund that aims to bet on financial services stocks.

Mulvaney is starting the enterprise, Exegis Capital, with investor Andrew Wessel, a former portfolio manager at Sterling Capital Management. The pair discussed their plan at length in a podcast interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence released on Aug. 25.

The long-short fund will capitalize on the duo’s knowledge of major regulatory changes that impact the financial services industry, they said on the podcast. Wessel said the fund started raising money “in earnest” about a month ago.

Mulvaney, a former congressman, was appointed in March as the special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland. He was Trump’s acting chief of staff for more than a year and also served as director of the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Attempts to reach Mulvaney by phone and text outside of normal business hours weren’t successful.

Mulvaney, 53, isn’t the only former Republican politician getting into finance recently. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan said earlier this month he’d serve as chairman for a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, with hopes of raising about $300 million.

Mulvaney remains closely connected to the administration, though, as special envoy. People in that role have in the past facilitated the negotiation and implementation of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said when announcing Mulvaney’s appointment on March 11.

Special envoys are permitted to hold positions outside of government in some cases, Politico reported, citing a former State Department official.

In the podcast interview, Mulvaney touted his knowledge of the CFPB, an agency responsible for monitoring consumer protections in the financial sector that was part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms, as an asset for the new venture.

“How the CFPB works has huge impact on lenders if you can understand things in advance, and understand how the system works,” he said. “You have to understand how Washington works.”

That understanding will be useful no matter who wins the presidential election in November, he said.

“It’s going to work a certain way under a Biden administration, and I think we know how that works. And it’s going to work a different way under a second term of a Trump administration.”


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