Marc Lasry, chairman and executive officer of Avenue Capital, put clarity to the speculations the he will be appointed by President Barack Obama to become the next ambassador of the United States to France.
In a letter to the hedge fund’s investors, Lasry told the investors of the $12 billion hedge fund that he is grateful that the Obama administration considered him for the position, but he said that he will remain with Avenue Capital, thus putting a rest to the rumors.
Lasry wrote, “I look forward to continuing to lead Avenue as Chairman and CEO, alongside Sonia and working with our team of more than 200 talented professionals, which include the best and brightest Portfolio Managers, and investment teams in the business and a best in class institutional infrastructure. Avenue is well positioned to continue to protect and grow investors’ assets, and I look forward to continuing to invest alongside all of you.” Lawrence Delevingne of Hedge Fund Intelligence posted a copy of the letter.
A related report from Katya Wachtel of Reuters said Lasry had been a long-time supporter of the Democrats and he has a close relationship with former President Bill Clinton. Chelsea Clinton previously served as analysts for Avenue Capital, which is an expert in distressed debt investments.
The media expects that the hedge fund manager will receive the nomination and he is considered as the primary candidate to become the next ambassador to France. Lasry is among the hedge fund managers who strongly supported President Obama during his re-election campaign and hosted a $40,000 per plate fundraiser for the President at his townhouse in Manhattan last year.
People close to Avenue Capital opined that there had been concerns about the issue on how Lasry will separate himself from the hedge fund without forcing him to sell his stakes. However, the real reasons behind his decision to set aside the expected nomination are unclear.
Clinton stated during an event in March that the White House already informed Lasry regarding his nomination to the position. A person who has knowledge about the situation confirmed Clinton’s remarks, but the White House or Lasry did not provide any comment on the issue.
At that time of the rumors, the hedge fund’s investors expressed that they will keep their investments with Avenue Capital even if Lasry will move to France to serve as ambassador. Lasry and his sister Sonia Gardner established the hedge fund in 1995.