Lehman Brothers has added another member of the Bush family to its payroll, with the hire of Jeb Bush to advise its private equity business, Reuters reported. Jeb Bush is the brother of US President George W. Bush and the former governor of Florida.
The move comes as numerous Congressional committees study bills that would raise taxes on private equity firms’ carried interest, as well as on publicly traded partnerships like The Blackstone Group and Fortress Investment Group. Next week, the powerful House Ways and Means Committee will hold an all-day hearing on tax issues including those affecting private equity.
The buyout industry has been lobbying hard against tax code changes on Capitol Hill—Blackstone alone spent more than $4 million in the first six months of the year—and Private Equity Council president Doug Lowenstein said it has paid off.
“Things look better now than they did two or three months ago,” Lowenstein told Bloomberg. “We’ve stabilized the situation.”
He told the wire service that opposition is growing among House Democrats, and pointed to four “moderate, centrist” Democratic Senators on the Senate Finance Committee—John Kerry, Charles Schumer, Ken Salazar and Ron Wyden—who have been hesitant to support the proposed bills.
President Bush said earlier this month he would exercise his veto power to keep taxes low and maintain the entrepreneurial success that helps drive the US economy.
This is the second Bush relative Lehman has hired, Reuters reported. Last year the President’s second cousin, George Walker, was recruited to lead the bank’s asset management division.