Thursday, 18 September 2014
Last updated 13 hours ago
Jun 1 2012 | 7:46am ET
Deep pocketed donors have long played a role in national politics, but perhaps no group has become more influential in this election cycle than the financial titans known as asset managers.
In this series, which will appear over the next two weeks, we take a close look at hedge fund managers, private equity executives and their less glamorous but equally powerful Wall Street counterparts to discover who is supporting Romney and who is backing Obama—why, and for how much.
Marc Rowan, Apollo Global
Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan has contributed to both Democrats and Republicans over the years (the Center for Responsive Politics says he’s given at least $244,650 in the past three election cycles), but when it comes to the 2012 presidential race, it seems private equity guys stick together.
Rowan, who co-founded Apollo with Leon Black and Josh Harris in 1990, has donated $75,000 to the pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future. His wife has added an additional $30,000.
Apollo, like Romney’s former employer, Bain Capital, is a private equity shop specializing in buying, restructuring and selling debt-ridden companies. Romney has been criticized (most notably by fellow Republican Newt Gingrich) as a job-killer for his private equity past and has also drawn flak for the fortune he amassed—an estimated $250 million—during his time at Bain. This last criticism is unlikely to bother Rowan, whose net worth Forbes magazine puts at $1.5 billion, ranking him No. 854 on its Billionaires List.
Rowan’s colleagues Black and Harris also support Romney, although not, perhaps, with as much conviction as Rowan¬¬—each has donated $2,500 to the Republican candidate. Data from the Center for Responsive Politics show the two have supported both Democrats and Republicans in the past—in fact, Black donated $50,000 to help fund President Obama’s inauguration. In 2011, Black donated a total of $31,500 to a grab bag of candidates including Republicans Orrin Hatch and Michael Grimm and Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Dianne Feinstein.
Harris, in 2011, donated to Republican Hatch but also to Democrats Robert Menendez and Ben Nelson.
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