Trump to Pitch Dimon, Fraser as Verdict Fails to Scare Off CEOs

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s brand on Wall Street, once tarnished by the US Capitol attack and his bombastic political rhetoric, has made a near-full recovery, evidenced by the lineup of bank industry chieftains attending an event with the former president.

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JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, Citigroup Inc.’s Jane Fraser, Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan and Tim Cook of Apple Inc. are among those expected to attend a Washington meeting with Trump on Thursday, according to people familiar with the event, which will be hosted by the Business Roundtable, a group that promotes corporate-friendly policies.

Trump’s one-day return to the capital, which will also see him meet with congressional Republicans, is a clear demonstration that even as a convicted felon, the presumptive GOP nominee is being increasingly embraced by the nation’s business elite.

Approximately 100 executives are expected to attend the event where Trump is slated to appear on stage with his former National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow for what is billed as a fireside chat.

Joe Bae of private equity giant KKR & Co Inc., Charles Scharf of Wells Fargo & Co. and Bill McDermott of software company ServiceNow Inc. are planning to attend as members of the Business Roundtable. The group boasts some of the country’s most prominent CEOs as members. Others expected to join include Adena Friedman of Nasdaq Inc., Chuck Robbins of Cisco Systems Inc. and American Express Co.’s Steve Squeri.

White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients will speak to the group earlier in the day. President Joe Biden was invited but will instead be at the Group of Seven summit in Italy.

The Business Roundtable — and some members such as Moynihan and Dimon — are among the many executives and corporate groups who strongly denounced Trump after his supporters sought to overturn the 2020 election.

Dimon, just hours after a New York jury convicted Trump on all 34 counts of falsifying business records last month, noted that the former president received 74 million votes in 2020, emphasizing the need to respect those voters.

Those remarks were a notable shift from a prior expletive-ridden tirade the JPMorgan CEO delivered about Trump when the events of Jan. 6 were still fresh. Earlier this year, Dimon said Trump was “kind of right” on certain policies and said Democrats should “be a little more respectful” of his supporters.

Donor Decisions

Many executives and deep-pocketed donors have been dismayed by Biden’s record on inflation, regulations and foreign policy, and they’ve opted to make the bet that Trump will be a better steward of the economy — even if some privately continue to worry about his temperament or threats of retribution against opponents.

“The pitch is that there is this narrative out there that people falsely have Trump nostalgia for the economy, but the economy was very good. You should be nostalgic,” said Scott Bessent, a Trump donor and founder of Key Square Group LP. “It worked for the top. It worked for the bottom. The market was good.”

Wall Street executives have slowly been turning back to Trump, after months of flirting with his Republican primary rivals, including Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and Ron DeSantis, who also espoused tax cuts and deregulation but without the former president’s political baggage.

Donors from the oil and gas industry, Silicon Valley and finance have started opening their pocketbooks to Trump once more. He recently attended a fundraising dinner in New York at the Pierre Hotel, hosted by billionaire Howard Lutnick.

Fundraising Surge

Trump’s campaign said it raised $141 million in May, fueled by a surge in donations since his conviction. The campaign has raised $115 million since the guilty verdict, according to a person familiar.

Trump traveled to California last week for events with entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. Stalwarts of the GOP donor class, including Miriam Adelson and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, have again pledged their support.

In the coming weeks, Trump will attend fundraisers in Cleveland, New Orleans and Chicago, according to invitations obtained by Bloomberg News. Representative Byron Donalds, a vice presidential hopeful, will attend the Chicago event as a special guest.

Biden, too, has benefited from his own robust fundraising with deep ties to Hollywood, the tech industry and Wall Street. He outraised Trump every single month, so far, with the exception of April, according to federal filings. Biden still has more cash on hand than the former president, according to the latest disclosures. The president’s campaign has not yet released fundraising totals for May.

--With assistance from Amanda Gordon, Sridhar Natarajan, Hannah Levitt, Allison McNeely, Brody Ford, Stephanie Lai, Mark Gurman, Katherine Doherty and Todd Gillespie.

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