Coronavirus relief loans approved for Rich families
BOSTON (Reuters) - Private investment firms that manage the fortunes of wealthy individuals and their kin were approved for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded relief loans designed to help small businesses weather the coronavirus lockdown, according to a review of recently released government data.
The companies - often referred to as “family offices” - approved for the forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) included those that oversee money for the family that co-owns the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings; the former manager of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund firm; and a serial Las Vegas entrepreneur.
The new data from the U.S. Treasury Department and SBA shows only that the loans were approved from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) but does not say how much was disbursed or if they had been returned or forgiven. Still, it was not always clear why the families found it necessary to apply for emergency cash, usually for less than $1 million, given the substantial funds available implied by having private investing vehicles.
“The PPP was meant for struggling small businesses who aren’t able to operate at normal capacity,” said Andrew Park, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform. “This is akin to dipping their hands into a charity jar.”
Among those approved: Rothschild Capital Partners LLC, a New York-based firm that manages money for its chief executive, David D. Rothschild and others, got the go-ahead for a loan of up to $350,000 to retain eight jobs. The firm managed approximately $330 million at the end of 2019 on behalf of the Rothschild family and a group of wealthy investors, according to public filings.
Representatives for Rothschild did not respond to requests for comment.
The family offices identified by Reuters usually applied for the SBA loans in March or April, when financial markets were substantially lower or some of their portfolio companies were struggling.