President-elect Donald Trump is set to name L.A. financier Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary, numerous media reports said Tuesday afternoon.
Mnuchin, 53, was Trump’s national campaign finance chairman and had been on the short list for the Treasury post. The Bel Air resident currently runs hedge fund Dune Capital Management.
The New York Times reported Mnuchin’s selection was expected to be announced Wednesday.
In Los Angeles, Mnuchin is best known for his dual roles in Hollywood and as a major bank executive. He helped financed several box office hits, including the “X-Men” film franchise as well as “Avatar,” and was the founding chief executive of OneWest Bank.
Mnuchin was part of a group of investors who purchased the assets of failed mortgage lender IndyMac Bank from the federal government in 2009, which was renamed OneWest Bank. He returned the institution to profitability before it was sold last year to CIT Group for $3.4 billion. During his time as chief executive, OneWest faced numerous allegations of improperly administered foreclosures and of disproportionately targeting minority communities with its foreclosures.
Mnuchin’s Dune Capital Management also purchased a stake in Relativity Media, the independent film studio that filed for bankruptcy last year. Mnuchin was non-executive board chairman for almost a year prior to the bankruptcy filing. Since then, Mnuchin has been a defendant in a lawsuit filed by another Relativity investor, RKA Film Financing, alleging that some of the money it had invested in the studio was used to pay off a loan made by OneWest Bank.
Mnuchin started his career at Goldman Sachs, which he left in 2002. After a brief time heading up an investment fund with prominent Democrat hedge fund king George Soros, he formed his own hedge fund, Dune Capital Management. The longtime conservative was an early supporter of Trump, donating $430,000 to committees supporting the billionaire real estate mogul’s presidential bid. In May, Trump picked him to serve as the national campaign’s finance chair. After the election, Trump named him to his transition team.
Mnuchin lives in a Bel Air mansion he purchased in 2009 for $26.5 million. He has been married twice and is currently engaged to Scottish actress Louise Linton.
Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.