Jack Lew, who has been nominated as the next treasury secretary, oversaw up as many as a hundred Cayman Island investments when he worked at Citi Bank as chief operating officer of the alternative investment services unit, SEC disclosures reveal. It has previously been reported that Lew himself had been invested in a fund that was based in the Cayman Islands.
"To meet your complex hedge fund, fund of hedge funds and private equity fund needs, Citi is your single provider with market-leading experience, global reachand state-of-the-art technology. Our unmatched worldwide presence, economies of scale and comprehensive portfolio of solutions enable us to deliver uniformly integrated services, create administrative efficiencies and reduce operating costs," Citi's description of the alternative investment services unit reads.
"Our end-to-end solutions provide services to multiple product structures. Whether you are a stand-alone, master feeder, umbrella fund, corporate entity, separately managed account, unit trust, family office or SICAV we provide the solutions you need so that you can focus on your core competencies. We also provide fully integrated services to funds domiciled in all major jurisdictions."
It specifically lists its jurisdictions as: the U.S., Bermuda, Cayman Islands, BCI, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
SEC documents ending in the year 2007 reveal that at least 90 subsidiaries of Citi were based in the Cayman Islands. A couple weeks later, in January 2008, Jack Lew took the high-ranking executive job at Citi.
Names of the Citi subsidiaries include: Asia Mortgage Finance, Azabu Credit Management Company Ltd., Alternative Investments MGR, Ltd., Asia Enterprise III Offshore L.P., Baltic Pharma Limited, BISYS Hedge Fund Director Services Limited, Brennan Limited, and many, many more.
By the end of 2008 that number of Citi subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands, which fell under the jurisdiction Lew was in charge of, jumped to 113.
In the 2012 presidential campaign, the Obama campaign called Mitt Romney's own Cayman Island investments "bets against America."
But only months after the election ended, Obama nominated his former chief of staff Jack Lew, who himself had similar investments and even oversaw investment funds there, to be the next treasury secretary.
When asked this morning at a Capitol Hill hearing about his investment in the Cayman Islands-based fund, Lew plead ignorance. He claimed today that he "actually didn’t know" the fund he invested in was housed in the Cayman Islands. Besides, he said, my "benefit was really very small."
The Hill reports that Lew’s nomination “remains on track” after today’s hearing.