Cohn to dis­pose of shares in ICBC

New Straits Times - - Business -

WASH­ING­TON: Gary Cohn, the United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s top eco­nomic ad­viser, dis­closed a plan to sell his stake in the world’s largest bank by as­sets to com­ply with fed­eral ethics laws and re­duce con­flicts of in­ter­est.

Cohn, the di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil, owned al­most 23.4 mil­lion shares of In­dus­trial & Com­mer­cial Bank of

China Ltd (ICBC), ac­cord­ing to a two-page dis­clo­sure dated

March 8 and ob­tained by Bloomberg us­ing pub­lic-records laws.

The stake is val­ued at more than US$15 mil­lion (RM66.6 mil­lion) and prob­a­bly was ac­quired as part of Jan­uary 2006 in­vest­ment by Gold­man Sachs Group Inc and its pri­va­tee­quity funds.

The fil­ings also show that Cohn planned to di­vest more than US$216 mil­lion in Gold­man Sachs stock, 18 other pub­licly traded shares and in­vest­ments in eight com­pany-man­aged funds. Cohn’s wife, Lisa Pe­varoff, owned stakes in three such funds. It’s un­clear if they still own the in­vest­ments.

The forms are just a por­tion of the dis­clo­sures ex­pected for Cohn. He’s worth about US$600 mil­lion, with about 40 per cent of that tied to shares of Gold­man Sachs, where he served as pres­i­dent for a decade be­fore leav­ing for the gov­ern­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Bloomberg Bil­lion­aires Index.

The fed­eral ethics agency re­leased Cohn’s di­vesti­ture pa­per­work in re­sponse to a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest — along with sim­i­lar dis­clo­sures for White House se­nior ad­viser Jared Kush­ner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, and their chil­dren; and Dina Pow­ell, who was named last week to be deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser.

Cohn owned 872,712 Gold­man Sachs shares, ac­cord­ing to the dis­clo­sure form. The value of those shares had climbed 36 per cent, or al­most US$58 mil­lion, from the elec­tion through Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg cal­cu­la­tions. Bloomberg

Gary Cohn

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