Gore's New Job
Vice President Al Gore has added another job to a full plate
of academic and political engagements. Starting Nov. 19, he's
the vice-chairman of a Los Angeles-based securities firm,
Metropolitan West Financial Inc.
Gore will spearhead the private equity firm's strategic
planning in biotechnology and information technology, according
to a company press release. The part-time position will be
compensated, but company officials and a representative from
Gore's public relations firm declined to say how much he'd
make. The company has its hands in a range of asset management
activities, though it makes much of its money by lending stocks
borrowed from other companies.
"For nearly 25 years, I have worked on business and
economic issues from the perspective of a public servant engaged
in public policy," Gore said in a statement. "I
am eager to learn more about business as an active executive
of this dynamic and community-oriented company."
During his 2000 presidential run, Gore often sheathed
many of his policy proposals with potentially anti-business
overtones, while still trying to convince voters that
he stood against big business and profiteers. Now,
though, he has joined a firm founded by a former top manager
at fallen junk bond purveyor Drexel Burnham-Lambert.
At least of one MetWest's principals, managing director Lorraine
Spurge , was a top aide to Michael Milken , whose name become
synomous with the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s.
Still, the move isn't too surprising for longtime Gore-watchers
who have been wondering how the family, which isn't terribly
wealthy and has a son at Harvard, has been making do since
Gore left office. In January of 2001, he became, in essence,
a traveling professor and an occasional speaker. As former
vice president, he does receive a yearly stipend from
the federal government He is also working on a book with his
Gore's duties in his new capacity are vague and flexible
enough to enable him to continue teaching at Fisk and Middle
Tennessee State universities in Tennessee. He'll also continue
to live at home in Alexandria, Va. And, presumably, he'll
keynote the occasional political function.
Gore and CEO Richard S. Hollander met this spring through
intermediaries, a MetWest official said. After a series
of meetings, they reached an agreement on Gore's position
within the past month.
"As I began to look at MetWest Financial and acquaint
myself with its business and culture, the one thing that
stood out is the talent and integrity of its executive
leadership and staff," Gore said in the statement.
Founded in 1992 as an offshoot of Bank of America, MetWest
Financial bills itself as a securities lending firm with a
pro-growth, pro-entrepreneur conscience. It does a lot of
business with fixed-income clients. Some of the managers used
to work for savings-and-loans bugbear Drexel Burnham
Lambert; Hollander worked for Drexel from 1984-1988. Managing
director Lorraine Spurge sold bonds under Michael Milken's
direction from 1983 to 1989. In 1996, Spurge founded a company
with Milken's backing.
As of October 31, 2001, MetWest managed more than billion
in assets. The firm made national news in August 2001, when
it helped finance a new national athletic training center