N.J. Governor Transfers His Millions Into A Blind Trust


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a retired Goldman Sachs senior director, has placed millions of dollars of family wealth in a blind trust managed by his brother-in-law, public documents show.

Murphy, 60, a Democrat who took office in January, had promised to make the transfer while campaigning to replace term-limited Republican Chris Christie. At least $6 million in securities, retirement accounts and other investments will be overseen by Stephen Snyder of Virginia Beach, Virginia, the brother of Murphy’s wife, Tammy Snyder Murphy.

The governor relinquished control of his fortune in the interest of “transparency, ethics and integrity,” his spokesman, Dan Bryan, said in an emailed statement. “The establishment of the blind trust, which ensures the public that the governor’s decisions are based solely on the public benefit, represents yet another promise kept.”

The product of Boston-area working-class parents, Murphy and his wife reported $4.6 million in income in 2016, according to tax documents he made available for review. He spent $22.5 million of his own money on the governor’s race.

Murphy has promised to strengthen the state economy, relieve homeowners of the biggest U.S. property-tax burden, make a record payment to the least-funded state government pension and increase education spending. He has pitched $1.5 billion in taxes on the wealthy, yet-to-be-legalized recreational marijuana, corporations, electronic cigarettes, retail sales and such services as Airbnb and Uber to support a $37.4 billion budget.

The financial disclosure statement, standard for New Jersey elected officials and some public employees, by design is broad and vague. Murphy listed the governor’s salary, $175,000. On categories including stocks, bonds and mutual funds; personal trusts; and real estate, Murphy indicated values in excess of $500,000 each. He reported capital gains last year on assets including Apple, 3M, Ford and Facebook.

He listed closely held interests including JECS Ltd. of London, identified as an owner of residential property in Italy; Vintage VI LP of Jersey City, a private-equity firm; and Cohere Communications LLC of New York City, an information technology manager. He maintains a two-thirds interest in Blue Sky Football Club, a women’s soccer team based in Piscataway, New Jersey.

At Goldman, he oversaw operations in Asia and Germany. He rose in politics as a Democratic National Committee fundraiser and was U.S. ambassador to Germany for five years under President Barack Obama.

(c) 2018, Bloomberg · Elise Young 



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