To avoid conflicts, McMahon to dump some assets, positions

Ana Radelat / CTMirror.org

Linda McMahon at her confirmation hearing

Washington – To avoid conflicts of interests, Linda McMahon said she would begin divesting certain assets and positions – including her post as vice chair of the Board of Trustees of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield – if she is confirmed as head of the Small Business Administration.

As part of the confirmation process, the World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder also disclosed millions of dollars of holdings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and other investments, including property in New York valued at between $5 million and $25 million and dividends of more than $5 million a year from WWE stock valued at more than $50 million.

In filings with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), McMahon said she would, within 90 days of her confirmation, divest her interests in the HPD Alkeon Growth Partners Fund and Skybridge Multi-Advisor Fund Portfolios. McMahon said she has invested from $1 million to $5 million in each of the hedge funds.

McMahon agreed to the divestitures, and resignations from a number of organizations, in negotiations with the OGE aimed at avoiding conflicts of interests. The OGE will check to make sure McMahon follows through on her agreement if she is confirmed.

Executive branch appointees report their investment holdings and liabilities in wide ranges, so only a broad view of assets and liabilities are made public.

In her disclosures, McMahon said her husband Vincent is employed by and has an equity interest in WWE. But she said she would not “participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that to my knowledge has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., unless I first obtain a written waiver.”

Within 180 days of her confirmation, McMahon said she would divest her interest in HPD Millennium Strategic Capital Fund, another hedge fund in which she has an interest worth between $1 million and $5 million.

With an estimated family wealth of at least $1.2 billion, McMahon belongs to President Donald Trump’s “billionaire’s row” of appointees, a group that includes Betsy DeVos, the controversial nominee for secretary of education whose family worth is more than $5 billion, and Vincent Viola, Trump’s choice for army secretary, whose worth is estimated at about $1.8 billion. There’s also Todd Ricketts, Trump’s pick for deputy commerce secretary, who is worth about $5.3 billion, and Wilbur Ross, the nominee for commerce secretary, who is worth about $2.5 billion.

Among her real estate holdings, McMahon listed a home in Stamford valued between $1 million and $5 million, two other properties in Stamford each worth between $1 million and $5 million, residential real estate in Greenwich worth between $1 million and $5 million, and property in Las Vegas worth between $100,000 and $250,000 – besides the property in New York that was valued at up to $25 million.

McMahon also listed several checking accounts holding between $1 million and $5 million each.

As far as liabilities, the nominee disclosed a Morgan Stanley investment real estate loan worth up to $25 million and a Morgan Stanley line of credit worth more than $50 million.

Upon confirmation, McMahon said she would resign from the Stamford-based  Vincent & Linda Family Foundation, a philanthropy that has focused on helping youth organizations, including Grace Academy in Hartford and the Cloonan Middle School in Stamford.

McMahon also said she would resign her positions at Sacred Heart University, where she has been a member of the board since 2004; APCO Worldwide, a Washington D.C.-based public relations firm; the non-profit Close Up Foundation; and American Corporate Partner, Inc., a mentoring program for veterans.

McMahon also said she would resign from management positions at McMahon Ventures, a consulting firm based in her home state of North Carolina, and Women’s Leadership LIVE, an organization that supports female entrepreneurs.

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee voted nearly  unanimously Tuesday to advance McMahon’s nomination to the full Senate, where she is expected to be easily confirmed.

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