The mysterious office and portrait of the person behind Elon Musk in the $ 44 billion acquisition of Twitter
On Monday this week, Elon Musk reached an agreement to buy Twitter for $ 44 billion. And in a filing with regulators a week before the deal reached an agreement, Musk said that Twitter should contact its family office to negotiate a proposed takeover.
However, few people know about the Austin, Texas-based family office that manages the wealth of the world’s richest person.
The office was called Excession and the man who helped build it was Jared Birchall, a former Morgan Stanley banker. Birchall has also advised Musk over the past few years on how to interact and transact with Wall Street, according to data on regulatory filings and regulatory documents.
Born in 1974, Birchall was hired by Musk from Morgan Stanley in 2016 to work in his family office. Birchall is currently the CEO of Musk’s brain chip company Neuralink, a director at the tunneling company Boring Company, and a board member at Musk’s private charity.
Business registration records list Birchall as the manager of Excession since 2021.
Birchall and Musk did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.
However, according to Raphael Amit, a management professor at the Wharton School, Birchall’s multi-tasking including managing the family office is testament to Elon Musk’s strong belief in close employees. this.
“Once you appoint someone to run the family office, it means you trust him. And Elon wants to set it up in a way that gives him (Birchall) ultimate control over everything.”Professor Amit said.
Morgan Stanley led the financing of Musk’s Twitter acquisition and advised Musk to make the deal a success, and that is the fruit of a several-year relationship that both parties have forged. built and fortified by Birchall.
Earlier in August 2018, the day after Musk tweeted that Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake had failed to take Tesla private, Birchall texted Musk to hint at the role of Tesla. Morgan Stanley.
“They were by far our best resource personally. They provided him with the largest amount ($350 million) and every time we needed to borrow more or wanted a lower interest rate. , they all approved”, Birchall wrote to Elon Musk, according to documents revealed around the investigation of Elon Musk’s Tesla takeover tweets.
During a defamation trial in 2019 in Los Angeles, Elon Musk said that the company Excession basically has 2 employees. However, the second person next to Birchall was not revealed.
Industry sources say it is not uncommon for a small team to manage family offices. Although there is also the opposite case, like the family office of billionaire Jeff Bezos has more than 100 employees.
There are also no requirements or regulations for family offices to publicly disclose their assets or key personnel. Therefore no one can know the number of shares and the value of assets as well as the number of employees of Excession.
Behind a successful man is always the shadow of loyal supporters.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Birchall began her career at Goldman Sachs in 1999 as a financial analyst, according to her LinkedIn profile. He then joined Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles and worked there for about a decade as an asset manager.
However, Merrill Lynch fired Birchall in 2010 because “behavior leading to loss of trust by management”including action “mailing clients without approval from management”. But less than a month later, Birchall started working at Morgan Stanley as an asset manager.
A spokesman for Morgan Stanley said Birchall was highly valued at the bank and departed on good terms.
But Birchall’s role extends beyond finance.
In 2018, he hired a private investigator to investigate a British diver who criticized Musk’s idea of using a SpaceX mini-submarine to rescue a men’s soccer team trapped in A cave in Thailand.
When Musk called the diver a “pedophile” in a Twitter response, the person sued him for defamation. During the ensuing trial, it was reported that Birchall, appearing as James Brickhouse, had hired a private detective to investigate the diver. Birchall said in court testimony that he had “instinct to protect Musk.”
And then Elon Musk won the case.
“The idea of loyalty, especially in the family office, is incredibly important,” Professor Amit said. “Because you are exposed to the most intimate and private matters of the family”.
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