Donald Trump Names Film Financier Steven Mnuchin National Finance Chairman

Steven Mnuchin Trump Campaign Finanace
Trump: Greg E. Mathieson Sr./REX/Shutterstock

Steven Mnuchin, who has teamed with Brett Ratner and James Packer in the film financing company Ratpac-Dune Entertainment and was once co-chairman of Relativity Media, is taking on a new position: national finance chair for the campaign of Donald Trump.

“It’s a great privilege to be working with Mr. Trump to create a world class finance organization to support the campaign in the general election,” Mnuchin said in a statement released by the campaign on Thursday. 

Trump’s campaign said that he would be “putting up substantial money toward the general election,” but the appointment of a finance chairman is an indication that he will not completely self-fund the race. Trump’s campaign had been taking small-dollar contributions during the primary season in addition to the money that Trump lent the campaign.

“Steven is a professional at the highest level with an extensive and very successful financial background,” Trump said in a statement. “He brings unprecedented experience and expertise to a fundraising operation that will benefit the Republican Party and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Mnuchin’s Dune Capital provided financing for box office successes like the “X-Men” franchise and “Avatar,” which is the all-time box office champion, along with “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Borat.” Ratpac-Dune, which started in 2013, has been a key financing partner for Warner Bros., with titles including “The Lego Movie,” “American Sniper” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Mnuchin also served in a brief tenure as co-chairman of Relativity Media, but he resigned his post in May, less than two months before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Mnuchin was also founder, chairman and CEO of OneWest Bank Group until he led the sale of the bank to CIT Group Inc. of New York for $3.4 billion. That deal was approved by federal regulators on July 21, and Mnuchin was named executive vice chairman of the combined company.

Last summer, Variety reported that Timothy Coleman, the financial adviser put in place to oversee Relativity during its bankruptcy, wrote that over the course of two months before the Chapter 11 filing, Relativity agreed to let OneWest take $32 million from accounts the studio received for use of its film library. Less than two weeks before the bankruptcy, on July 17, OneWest swept $17.9 million more from an account normally used to pay residuals and participation fees to performers, writers and others, according to Coleman’s declaration.

Mnuchin, a longtime arts patron in New York, also was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he spent 17 years before forming his own company.

Like Trump, Mnuchin has a past history of donating to Democrats. Mnuchin contributed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and 2008 presidential campaigns. In 2012, Mnuchin donated to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.