×

Donald Trump Names Film Financier Steven Mnuchin National Finance Chairman

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.

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content