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Gina Haspel

Ex-CIA Director Joins Law Firm to Advise Super-Rich on Risks

Gina Haspel will oversee King & Spalding’s risk-advisory service, working with major banks and other institutional firms to help clients assess risks to family wealth.

(Bloomberg) -- Gina Haspel spent three decades at the Central Intelligence Agency, ultimately becoming its first permanent female director. Now she’s leading an effort by a U.S. law firm to advise family offices on risks to the world’s ultra-wealthy.

Haspel, along with one-time U.S. Department of Justice official Andrew Hruska, will oversee King & Spalding’s risk-advisory service, the Atlanta-based firm said Thursday in a statement. The group will work with major banks and other institutional firms to help clients assess risks to family wealth from such issues as countries of origin, regulations and cryptocurrencies.

King & Spalding partners Zack Harmon and Sally Yates, the former U.S. deputy attorney general, will also be on the team. Former Credit Suisse Group AG Chairman Urs Rohner, Peter Charrington, ex-global head of Citigroup Inc.’s private bank, and former Merrill Lynch banker Allen Vine will serve as advisers, according to a spokesman.

These are heady times for the ultra-rich, with the world’s 500 richest people adding $1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. They also face a litany of risks, from turbulent markets to geopolitics to regulatory crackdowns. U.S. officials, meanwhile, are discussing whether to revise rules exempting family offices from tougher oversight following the implosion of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management.

“Global family offices, entrepreneurs, and business leaders face unprecedented challenges stemming from an expanding range of risks,” King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays said in the statement.

Haspel, who was in charge of the U.S. intelligence agency from 2018 to 2021 during the Trump administration, joined King & Spalding in July and is on the firm’s national security team. 

Read more: How New Wealth, Few Rules Fuel Family Office Boom: QuickTake

Family offices have proliferated this century to manage the financial affairs of the super-rich, partly due to surging wealth from technology and finance. Some of the largest are as sophisticated in their investments as institutional firms and have set up branches across multiple locations.

--With assistance from Gregory L. White.

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