KKR’s Kravis, Blackstone’s Gray, Apollo’s Zelter among PE leaders asking Congress to certify Biden victory

More than 170 business leaders signed a letter asking for Congress to certify the electoral victory of president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris.

Private equity joined other business leaders in asking Congress to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory during Wednesday’s perfunctory session, asking for “no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.”

More than 170 business leaders signed a letter January 4 from the non-profit Partnership for New York City asking for Congress to certify the electoral victory of president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris.

“Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy,” the letter said.

Congress meets Jan. 6 in what is normally a routine counting of the electoral votes that have already been certified by the states. However, a group of Republican senators and members of the House plan to object to certification of votes in certain states in which President Trump has for weeks claimed voting irregularities and fraud.

Numerically, the objections will only have symbolic value with no ability to change the outcome of the general election. However, the process could be delayed by the objections, which, when made by an individual member of each chamber of Congress, triggers a debate.

Democrats, and a significant portion of the Republican establishment, have called for certification and moving on from the election, which Trump lost, though Republicans achieved victories in the House and at the state level.

Drew Maloney, CEO and president of private equity’s lobbying group, American Investment Council, congratulated Biden and Harris after the election.

“The AIC team and our member firms look forward to working with the new Administration and Congress to support struggling businesses across the country and help fuel the post-COVID economic recovery,” according to the Nov. 7 AIC statement.

Biden took in more political donations from private equity than Trump, who also didn’t attract a ton of PE support in 2016. As of September, Trump got about $258,818 from people who work at private equity and investment firms. That compared to almost $1.3 million to Biden from those sources, Buyouts previously reported, citing Center for Responsive Politics data.

Private equity leaders who signed the letter include big-names like Jonathan Gray, president of Blackstone Group; Henry Kravis, co-chairman and co-CEO of KKR; Kewsong Lee, CEO of Carlyle Group; and James Zelter, co-president of Apollo Global Management.

Others include:

  • Jeffrey Aronson, managing principal of Centerbridge Partners;
  • Stephen Berger, chairman of Odyssey Investment Partners;
  • William Ford, CEO of General Atlantic;
  • Charles Kaye, CEO of Warburg Pincus;
  • Stewart Gross, managing director at Lightyear Capital;
  • Adam Blumenthal, managing partner of Blue Wolf Capital Partners;
  • Richard Cashin, managing partner at One Equity Partners;
  • Greg Mondre, co-CEO of Silver Lake;
  • Frederick Iseman, chairman and CEO of CI Capital Partners;
  • Steven Rattner, chairman and CEO of Willett Advisors;
  • Sanjay Swani, managing partner, Tailwind Capital

As of press time, spokespeople for the firms either declined to comment or didn’t respond to comment requests.