Musk Wealth Manager Wants Out Former Pro Gambler and Top Advisor: WSJ

Musk Wealth Manager Wants Out Former Pro Gambler and Top Advisor: WSJ

  • Elon Musk’s wealth manager clashed with a new financial adviser over how to handle Musk’s donations.
  • Jared Birchall has been working for the world’s richest man for nearly a decade, the WSJ reports.
  • Former pro gambler Igor Kurganov impressed the tech mogul despite his lack of financial experience.

Elon Musk’s wealth manager took on a former pro gambler who became the world’s richest man’s top adviser on how to manage his billions.

The Wall Street Journal reported how Musk is relying on a new adviser, a 34-year-old former professional gambler named Igor Kurganov, who has not welcomed Jared Birchall, Musk’s decade-long wealth manager.

The Russian-born Kurganov had no background in finance or security, but reportedly moved to Texas to help assemble a security team and manage the Tesla CEO’s fortunes. He even spent time at Kasturi’s home during the pandemic, and the pair discussed how the billionaire could use his money for the greater good of the world.

Kurganov was in talks with the nonprofit organization Explore Mars to potentially donate $600,000 to cover the costs of flying out a group of women with robotics backgrounds from Afghanistan, but was wary of the cost.

He was trying to figure out the cost, he said in an email seen by the Journal, and was “surprised” at the total cost by the number of people.

Musk’s foundation donated $23.6 million in 2020, according to its most recent filing.

Liv Bowery and Igor Kurganov attend the 40th London Film Critics Circle Awards at The May Fair Hotel on January 30, 2020 in London, England

Igor Kurganov (right) and Liv Bowery.

David M. Bennett/Dave Bennett/Getty Images

Chris Carberry, chief executive of Explore Mars, said in another email seen by the Journal that Kurganov “makes grant decisions on a daily basis.” But the move was reportedly not supported by Birchall, who saw the former poker player as an outsider who could influence how Musk spends his wealth.

Birchall was concerned that Musk might be subject to an FBI investigation after learning that the agency was looking into Kurganov.

They were uncomfortable with how he had been brought into Musk’s inner circle so quickly, people familiar with the matter told the WSJ, and as a result Birchall kept a watchful eye on Kurganov, but he was not charged with any wrongdoing.

Birchall thought it was inappropriate for a newcomer to have such a prominent role in how Musk spends his fortune, according to the Journal. Birchall asked Musk to rescind Kurganov’s role from the foundation in May, which the tech mogul agreed to do, according to the report.

The longtime wealth manager was a key figure in securing financing for Musk’s deal to acquire Twitter for $44 billion. The Journal was told by a representative that Kurganov’s email address for the Musk Foundation was disconnected about six weeks ago.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.

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