Moelis CEO Donated Thousands to Cantor Before Hiring Him

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The head of the investment bank that just hired Republican Eric Cantor for more than $1 million a year has been a loyal political supporter of the former House majority leader from Virginia.  

Ken Moelis, chairman and CEO of Moelis & Co., gave $5,000 to Cantor’s leadership political action committee, Every Republican is Crucial, just 12 weeks before he reportedly opened talks with Cantor about joining the bank. Moelis also personally gave the maximum $5,200 in this election cycle to Cantor’s campaign committee. Cantor’s new gig as vice chairman and managing director for the bank will earn him $400,000 this year, with a $400,000 signing bonus and $1 million worth of stock.  

The Cantor donations were among $100,000 that Moelis gave to Republican candidates and party committees in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, according to Federal Election Commission data tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics. These include $19,800 to the National Republican Congressional Committee thus far in this election cycle, and $58,000 to the National Republican Senatorial  Committee in the 2012 elections. Also in 2012, Moelis gave $15,000 to the NRCC and the maximum $5,000 to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.  

Moelis & Co. is nowhere near among Cantor’s top securities and investment industry donors, who collectively gave him and his PAC $1.4 million before his unexpected primary ouster in June by college professor Dave Brat. Well known as a champion of the financial services industry and for his success raising millions from Wall Street, Cantor received $130,800 from Goldman Sachs employees and PACs in this election alone, CRP data show.  

Nor is Moelis the top political contributor from his company. That honor goes to William Derrough, a managing director and co-head of the bank’s Recapitalization and Restructuring Group, who has given more than $160,000 to Democrats in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. That includes $40,800 in this midterm to the Democratic National Committee, and $16,200 apiece to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  

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