Kushner Cos. leaves family to replace Jared as CEO

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Jared Kushner’s family real estate company is turning to an outside family member for the first time to run the business, after the former senior White House adviser said he would not be returning.

Laurent Morali, chairman of Kushner Cos., Will take up his duties as chief executive with immediate effect, the company said. The CEO job has been mostly vacant since 2016, when Mr. Kushner started working full-time on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. After Mr. Trump’s victory, Mr. Kushner took a leadership role in the administration.

Nicole Meyer, Mr. Kushner’s younger sister who has worked for the family business since 2015, becomes president. Charles Kushner, chairman of the board of the Kushner family and father of Jared and Nicole, will continue to play a role in management and investment decisions, the company said.

Kushner Cos. is a mid-sized real estate company by New York standards. It owns apartments, office buildings and other assets that the company values ​​at more than $ 15 billion.

But the family and their business have received inordinate attention, especially after Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner became one of Mr. Trump’s closest associates.

“Our business is so focused on growing in the face of adversity,” Meyer said in a recent interview at the company’s new headquarters in the General Motors building overlooking Central Park. “We put our heads down and really moved. “

Mr. Morali, originally from France, worked for the real estate investment banking unit of the French bank Crédit Agricole HER

when he was hired by Kushner Cos. to lead its financial operations in 2008. He was appointed president in 2016.

His rise to the highest positions is the latest sign that Kushner Cos. is in the process of moving from a family business to a more institutional structure. Its management team is drawn from large real estate companies such as Blackstone Group. Inc.,

Cedar Real Estate Trust Inc.

and GFI Capital Resources Group.

Since Jared Kushner stepped down, Kushner Cos. Also moved away from the flashier Manhattan office building acquisitions when Jared led the company to buy rental apartments in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast states.

Since 2019, Kushner Cos. mainly acquired units in states such as Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina and Texas, where soaring house prices have forced many potential buyers to continue renting.

“With jobs comes the demand for apartments and in general more people want to rent,” Morali said. “You end up with an extraordinary growth in rents. “

Jared Kushner, who married Ivanka Trump in 2009, shed all of his family business management responsibilities and many of his owner’s stakes in properties when he joined Trump’s White House.

After Mr. Trump left the White House, Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump moved to South Florida, where Mr. Kushner plans to start a Miami-based investment firm named Affinity Partners as early as this fall, according to a report. person familiar with the matter.

In the first year of the Trump administration, Charles Kushner was negotiating the sale of a Manhattan office building at 666 Fifth Avenue to Chinese firm Anbang Insurance Group Co., which had close ties to Chinese officials. Critics of the company said such a sale of the loss-making building would represent a conflict of interest due to Jared’s role in administration.

Kushner Cos. said Jared had had no role in the talks and had shed any sensitive ties to the company. The company eventually sold a long-term lease of 666 Fifth Avenue to Brookfield Asset Management.

Write to Peter Grant at [email protected]

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