Nikki Haley heads to fundraiser hosted by Wall Street executives

FAN Editor

Stand for America PAC and Nikki Haley, the former two-term conservative governor of South Carolina and former U.S. ambassador to the UN, delivers a special announcement on her vision for a strong and proud America in Charleston SC, United States on February 15, 2023.

Peter Zay | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Nikki Haley, a Republican who jumped into the 2024 presidential race this month, is set to attend a fundraising event for her campaign hosted by Wall Street executives in New York on Tuesday, according to an invitation first reviewed by CNBC.

The hosts for the fundraiser include Joseph Konzelmann, a partner at private equity giant TPG; Gautam Chawla, a vice chair at financial behemoth Barclays; and Evan Baehr, who runs a venture capital firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, according to the invitation. Tickets for the event cost between $3,300 and $6,600.

The Federal Election Commission recently set new maximum contribution limits that donors can give to campaigns. They can contribute up to $3,300 in both the primary and general elections, or $6,600 that can be split between the two election seasons.

The Tuesday fundraiser for Haley’s campaign is one of her first trips to New York as a candidate for president. The former South Carolina governor aims to amass financial support as she moves to take on former President Donald Trump, and multiple other potential high-profile rivals, in the 2024 GOP primary.

Morning Consult’s GOP primary tracker shows Haley has 6% of support from potential Republican voters. Former President Donald Trump garners support from about 50% of GOP primary voters, according to Morning Consult.

Haley was the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Haley’s campaign will release its full fundraising data at the end of the first quarter, offering a glimpse into who supported her presidential bid early. But she is no stranger to support from the finance industry, according to data from the nonpartisan OpenSecrets.

Her PAC, Stand for America, has received contributions from the likes of hedge fund Elliott Management’s founder Paul Singer and James Haskel, a senior portfolio strategist at the massive investment firm Bridgewater Associates.

Finance executives have played key fundraising roles for political campaigns of both parties for well over a decade. People employed in the securities and investment industry contributed more than $74 million to President Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign.

New York itself is a lucrative hunting ground for candidates to raise campaign cash. Over $610 million in campaign donations came from the Empire State during the 2022 election cycle, as just over 71% of it went to Democrats and over 23% to Republicans, according to OpenSecrets.

The invitation to the Haley fundraiser says the gathering will take place in Tribeca, a small neighborhood in Manhattan about a mile away from Wall Street that has historically been considered one of the most expensive ZIP codes in New York City. It does not include the precise location of the fundraising event.

When contacted by CNBC and asked why he was co-hosting and how the event was organized, Chawla did not deny he was a co-host. He said over the phone, “No, I’m not going to talk to you, but thanks for calling.”

A representative for TPG declined to comment. A representative for Baehr did not return a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Haley’s campaign did not return a request for comment on further details about the former South Carolina governor’s trip to New York.

Konzelmann has previously supported Haley. He donated $5,000 to her PAC, Stand for America, last year, according to a Federal Election Commission filing.

Baehr has not donated to Haley’s PAC. He previously contributed to the campaigns of GOP congressional candidates such as Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio.

Chawla has made only three donations to political campaigns, and all have gone to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets. He gave $2,500 to former New York City mayoral candidate Ray McGuire, and $250 to former Delaware Gov. Gina Raimondo’s campaign before she became Biden’s Commerce Secretary.

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