Alex Constantine - July 22, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds stakes in a sprawling network of real estate and entertainment companies from India to Turkey, his federal financial disclosure shows.
The filing with the Federal Election Commission, released on Wednesday, was the first time the real-estate developer and television star had ever publicly tallied his holdings.
While the 92-page filing didn’t precisely quantify Mr Trump’s wealth, it suggests he has assets worth at least $US1.5 billion. Mr Trump has said he is worth more than $US10 billion.
A spokesman for Mr Trump’s presidential campaign declined to provide further information about the candidate’s wealth. The campaign stated last week that Mr Trump’s income for the year 2014 was $US362 million, without including dividends, interest, capital gains, rents or royalties.
In the filing, Mr Trump lists 515 companies in which he is a trustee, president, chairman or member. Many of the listed entities are limited liability corporations attached to Mr Trump’s real-estate holdings, including properties in Panama, Istanbul, Mumbai, Puerto Rico and Dubai.
In addition to real estate, the holdings include ventures in golf, a helicopter air service, poker, casinos, books, food, restaurants and a vineyard. He has severed ties with 28 of the entities, since late 2013, according to the filing. The report doesn’t list why he cut ties to the companies.
Mr Trump said he received a pension from the Screen Actors Guild as of July 2011. The pension was valued at $US110,228. The form also included income made by Mr Trump’s wife, Melania. It listed royalty income worth more than $US100,000 from licensing agreements for her name, including for a skincare company. The skincare royalties were valued at less than $US1 million.
Mr Trump reported receiving $US1.9 million in income from seven paid speeches since February 2014. He spoke before real-estate associations, among other groups.
The filing shows mixed success on the many books he has published. The form lists 14 books published since 1987, of which he listed royalties above $US201 for only three of the titles. “Time to Get Tough,” which he published in 2011, earned the highest royalties: at least $US50,001. “The Art of the Deal,” from 1987 earned at least $US15,001 in royalties.
The candidate disclosed no gifts or travel reimbursements on the form.
The form isn’t well-suited to account for the large figures Mr Trump is reporting, and in several instances only allowed him to categorise his assets as “more than” a certain number.
Mr Trump said it took a team of accountants about two months to complete the filing. He criticised other campaigns for asking the FEC for extensions while he submitted his in time.
“I wanted to get it done. I know what a great company I’ve built,” Mr Trump said in an interview, last week. “I have no reasons to ask for the extensions.”
Mr Trump, 69 years old, amassed a fortune early in his career on high-risk real-estate deals. But since he took a big financial hit during the early 1990s, he has limited his involvement in real-estate projects, focusing on licensing his name to other developers. That strategy protected him during the recent downturn in the real-estate market.
Among the projects in which he has invested significant amounts of his own money is the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, the second-tallest building in that city.
Analysts said that Mr Trump’s greatest asset as a real-estate developer is similarly his biggest advantage as a politician: his skill at self-promotion.
“He’s more brand than politician, but in today’s world that’s not a bad thing,” said James Fox, chief executive of Red Peak Branding, a brand-strategy firm. Where many politicians are trying to cultivate their personal brand, Mr Trump already “has an excess of style,” he said.
Mr Trump’s bombastic statements on the campaign trail, including his denigrating some Mexican immigrants as criminals, have harmed his brand. Since his campaign launch, a series of companies and brands cancelled contracts with the businessman, and NBC severed ties with Mr Trump as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Mr Trump said the uproar has quieted and that he has experienced no additional business fallout from the remarks in the last week or two.
“It stopped. Everyone now says I’m right,” he said last week.