Chicago’s former mayor is no longer in public office, but he’s most assuredly back in the money.
Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s heart is devoted to power and politics. If he had his druthers, he’d still be mayor of Chicago.
But his declining popularity prompted him not to run for a third term as mayor and, instead, to seek his fortunes elsewhere.
Now Emanuel has landed softly — as everyone knew he would — in a plum job in which he’ll use his extensive personal contacts and political experience to put together deals for a prestigious investment banking firm that’s expanding into Chicago.
Emanuel is opening a Chicago office for Centerview Partners, a New York-based firm that oversaw business deals with a combined value of $274 billion last year.
Crain’s Chicago Business reports that sum represents “the most megadeals of any U.S. investment boutique and eighth overall following the big New York and international banks.”
This is Emanuel’s second venture into the investment banking business.
He left the Clinton White House to make a fortune based on his contacts.
Having gotten rich, he left business to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Chicago. Then he left the House to become chief of staff in the Obama White House. Then he left the White House to become the two-term mayor of Chicago.
Now he’s returned to investment banking with the intent on getting ever richer before what — another run for office or high-profile role in a Democratic administration?
Everyone will just have to wait and see. But Emanuel plays the long game.
He tried to make a deal with the Democratic successor to his House seat to resign anytime Emanuel wanted so he could run again for the U.S. House with the goal of becoming speaker.
So never say never when it comes to his vast ambition, even though his mixed record as mayor has complicates his future plans.
For the short-term, however, he’s back in the influence-peddling business, and Centerview Partners is betting that Emanuel has a lot of profitable influence to peddle.