White House Deputy Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, December 10, 2019.
Al Drago | Reuters
Mick Mulvaney, former acting chief of staff to President Donald Trump, plans to raise at least $ 1 million from outside investors for his newly formed hedge fund.
Mulvaney, now representing the outgoing administration in Northern Ireland, and his business partner Andrew Wessel announced that they are aiming for this minimum amount in a CNBC first-examined filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The filing gives fresh insight into Mulvaney’s Exegis Capital fund’s plans to operate in the post-Trump era. The SEC form was signed on December 1, weeks after Democrat Joe Biden was appointed president-elect.
Mulvaney, a former Republican Congressman from South Carolina, was also head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Trump administration.
Investments appear to be in the direction of the fund limited partnership called Exegis Financial Sector Fund, the document says. The SEC form contains the same North Carolina address for the limited partnership and Exegis Capital. Mulvaney and Wessel’s names are both on the form.
The document also shows that Exegis is fundraising under the SEC’s 506 (b) rule. According to the SEC’s website, this rule allows companies to “raise unlimited funds and sell securities to an unlimited number of accredited investors.”
Mulvaney and Wessel, who have extensive experience as former portfolio managers at Sterling Capital Management in North Carolina, first announced the creation of the fund in an interview with S&P Global in August. They said at the time they wanted to invest in stocks in the small to mid-cap financial sector.
In an interview on Friday, Wessel confirmed that the $ 1 million was just the minimum they were asking investors. The hedge fund, he said, is trying to raise money from both “high net worth” and “very high net worth” individuals who may be worth at least $ 30 million.
Wessel declined to say who invested or who signaled interest in investing.
“The fundraiser is going well,” he said. “We have little interest from a number of high net worth individuals.” Wessel added that the fund had held numerous investor meetings both in person and through Zoom.
Wessel said that so far they have aimed to invest in small and mid-cap financials, with less of an emphasis on banks and interest in lenders and fintech companies.
Mulvaney’s role in the firm includes providing guidance to the best companies to invest in based on Exegis’ expectations for tighter regulation of the financial services industry under the Biden administration.
According to Wessel, Mulvaney’s experience in Washington – as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as director of the Office of Management and Budget, and as a member of the Financial Services Committee during his tenure in Congress – gives the firm a strong insight into the in-depth regulations it could provide for its business potential investments.
“For the Biden administration we are probably aiming for more regulation, not less, and we will choose our places there,” said Wessel of her investment tactics.
Wessel said Mulvaney approved the establishment of the fund with both the White House and the State Department and “he has not been to Ireland in a while”. He referred other questions about possible ethical hurdles Mulvaney may face to the former South Carolina congressman.
A State Department official told CNBC after the release that Mulvaney is considered a government special employee (SGE) and is limited to 130 calendar days of official work per year. He is not prohibited from looking for external employment, said the spokesman.
Mulvaney did not return a request for comment prior to posting.