By Joseph Tanfani – December 25, 2014
When Jeb Bush completed two terms as governor of Florida in 2007, he reported his net worth at $1.3 million, about $700,000 less than when he took office.
Today, nearly eight years later, he is a wealthier man. He has plunged into business and entrepreneurial ventures involving consulting, the paid lecture circuit and energy development. He has developed real estate, advised international investment banks and joined high-paying corporate boards.
But as he considers a run for president in 2016, Bush has begun to unwind some of his financial affairs, apparently to avoid the kind of criticism that hobbled fellow Republican Mitt Romney in his unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2012.
Bush is quitting Tenet Healthcare Corp. — a company that has profited from Obamacare — and is ending a consulting contract with Barclays Bank to focus on his political future. Aides say he also has stopped giving highly paid speeches to focus on traveling America, meeting with potential donors and testing what a friend calls a “visionary” brand of campaigning.
Bush’s latest undertaking is as a partner in three privately held funds that have raised a total of $127 million for investments in domestic and foreign companies. Bill Parish, an investment advisor in Portland, Ore., says the funds are fairly small in the private equity world.
But in the heat of a political campaign, Parish said, opaque investment vehicles, especially involving overseas accounts, inevitably will raise questions about the identities of his investors and the nature of their businesses.
“If he’s smart, he’s going to take care of it and shut them down,” Parish said.
Note: The Los Angeles Times requested that I review Jeb Bush financial disclosures and this is the story that resulted. Bush resigned from Tenet Healthcare as this story was being printed. Tanfani did a fine substantive unbiased article based upon Bush’s financial holdings, which are primarily private equity related investments. I generally ask not to be quoted in such reviews yet agreed to minor quotes given Tanfani’s stellar record regarding high quality non-sensational journalism.