A wave of executives in the finance sector made early donations to Donald Trump's primary opponents in the second quarter, as many on Wall Street look for an alternative to the former president to lead the Republican Party in 2024.
New Federal Election Commission filings show that dozens of Wall Street executives donated the legal maximum of either $3,300 for the primary or $6,600 for the entire election cycle to many of the Republican candidates polling below Trump in the primary, according to a joint analysis of the latest disclosures by NBC News and CNBC.
Trump’s chief rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and other candidates regularly registering in the national polling averages — business owner Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — all saw contributions from leaders in finance starting April 1 through June 30.
For Wall Street and the larger finance community, it’s a continuation of the anti-Trump trend that saw just over $74 million from Wall Street leaders go to support Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race. Trump saw just over $18 million from the industry in his losing 2020 race.
Here’s where Trump’s rivals stand on Wall Street.
The Florida governor took in at least 15 notable contributions from leaders in finance, including veteran hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones, who donated $6,600 to DeSantis’ campaign, with the check being cashed in May, according to an FEC filing. Many of the maximum contributions from executives in the finance sector to DeSantis were cashed in May, as he announced his run for president, according to the records.
Data from the nonpartisan OpenSecrets shows Jones has given to a variety of campaigns and outside groups involved with previous presidential elections.
In 2011, Jones donated $200,000 to Restore Our Future, a super PAC that supported Mitt Romney’s run for president versus then President Barack Obama. Jones later in 2015 contributed to PACs that supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s failed run for president and another group that backed former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s failed campaign that same cycle.
Christie, who is running for president again versus Trump this cycle, also received $6,600 from Jones in the second quarter, according to his campaign finance disclosure. A spokesman for Jones did not return a request for comment. Forbes estimates his net worth to be over $7 billion.
Longtime venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale donated at least $3,300 to DeSantis in the second quarter, according to the filings. Lonsdale had previously said he would be backing the Florida governor.
Justin Siegel, a vice president at Goldman Sachs, also gave DeSantis at least $3,300, with the check cashed in late June, according to the filing.
Lonsdale could not be reached for comment. A Goldman spokeswoman did not return a request for comment before publication.
DeSantis’ campaign finished the second quarter with $20 million raised.
Despite Ramaswamy going on offense against Wall Street firms that have environmental, social and governance investment strategies, he received at least a dozen contributions from leaders in the finance sector.
Bill Ackman, the CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, contributed $3,300 during the early stages of the quarter, according to the filings. The Pershing Square CEO has raved on Twitter about Ramaswamy — and Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Ackman has helped finance Strive, the anti-ESG firm Ramaswamy founded.
Ed Hyman, the chairman of Evercore ISI, also donated $3,300 to Ramaswamy in the second quarter, the filing says.
Investor Glenn Dubin and his wife Eva each recently donated $6,600 to Ramaswamy’s run for president. Both have reported ties to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Dubin has an estimated net worth of just over $2 billion, according to Forbes.
A call to Dubin & Co., the private investment company Glenn Dubin founded, was not returned before publication.
Ramaswamy’s campaign finished the second quarter having raised over $7 million, most of which was self-funded.
The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations had her own success raising money from Wall Street.
She too reeled in a dozen maxed-out contributions from executives in finance, including a contribution from Cliff Asness, the co-founder of AQR Capital Management, according to the records. Asness has a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Another finance leader who became a maximum donor to Haley is Tim Draper, a longtime venture capitalist.
Asness and Draper did not return requests for comment.
Haley finished raising over $5 million in the second quarter.