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Emanuel: I Specialized In 'Relationship Banking' Emanuel: I Specialized In 'Relationship Banking'

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Politics

Emanuel: I Specialized In 'Relationship Banking'

February 8, 2011

Rahm Emanuel isn't inclined to discuss his work as an investment banker as he campaigns for mayor of Chicago. But Emanuel's opponents have raised questions about his stint with Wasserstein Perella & Co, where Emanuel reportedly earned $18.5 million in just two and a half years after leaving the Clinton White House.

"I defy you to tell me anybody you know who jumped out of government into a business for which he had no credentials or background, made $18.5 million in two years and then jumped back into government," said former Chicago Public Schools president Gery Chico, one of Emanuel's main challengers in the race.

Emanuel responded by telling the Chicago Sun-Times that he specialized in "relationship banking."

"There is, in that culture, two types of bankers: a person who knows the numbers, industry specific; and a person who kind of also deals with relationships," Emanuel said. "I was what was considered, at that time, although I don't think this is really interesting, relationship banking, and that's what I did."

Considered the heavy favorite in the race, Emanuel needs more than 50 percent of the vote in the Feb. 22 primary to avoid a run-off. In the meantime, don't expect much discussion of Rahm's banking experience coming from the Emanuel campaign.

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