Private equity and power

He came to power promising to 'drain the swamp'. As Trump gives his first official State of the Union address, we look at the private equity professionals the president invited into his circle.

It has been one year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as leader of the free world. The last 12 months have shown a president who doesn’t mince his words when it comes to diplomacy, is a prolific tweeter and responds to criticism by labelling it ‘fake news’.

His choice of cabinet members, ambassadors and advisors include at least nine with links to private equity, most notably his now disbanded Strategic and Policy Forum of top business leaders, led by Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman.

The high concentration of former private markets executives in his administration may come as a surprise. Despite traditionally supporting the Republican candidate, only a few in the private equity industry picked Trump as their candidate of choice. These included Wilbur Ross, who founded his firm WL Ross 18 years ago and is now commerce secretary, and Steven Mnuchin, who ran his own private real estate firm, Dune Real Estate Partners, and is now treasury secretary.

With talks from Trump early in his presidency of reforming the tax code and toning down the regulatory framework, the rest of the industry quickly warmed to him.

The administration now counts former executives from firms including global growth firm Warburg Pincus, the Carlyle Group and venture capital firm Trident Capital; and even at least one limited partner. Here’s a closer look at the private markets’ touch in the Trump administration:

1. Education secretary

2. Treasury secretary

3. Commerce secretary

4. Ambassador to Japan

5. Ambassador to India

6. Chairman of the Federal Reserve

7. Former Strategic and Policy Forum chairman

8. Former Strategic and Policy forum member

9. Federal Reserve vice-chairman of supervision