Why Eric Cantor Quit Now: $1 Million Private-Sector Payday

Saturday, 02 Aug 2014 05:15 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is leaving Congress early to find a job that could easily pay him $1 million or more a year, Republican sources and corporate headhunters say.

"He will have opportunities in the traditional Washington political world," Nels Olson, a vice chairman at Korn Ferry in Washington, told Politico. "I think he could have Wall Street, investment banks or private-equity firms interested, given his relevant talents."

Cantor, who lost to economics professor Dave Brat in the Virginia GOP primary on June 10, has been approached by several lobbying firms, corporations and Wall Street companies, Politico reports.

However, Cantor has not held any serious talks on those prospects, the sources told Politico. He left Capitol Hill on Thursday, not even participating in the House votes on the border funding bill that eventually passed on Friday.

The congressman, who has been in the House since 2001, said in a statement on Friday that he would leave the House on Aug. 18. Cantor had been majority leader since 2011.

The Clerk of the House of Representatives will assume responsibility for the Virginia 7th District office until a new member is elected and sworn in, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Cantor, 51, said he asked Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to hold a special election the same day of the Nov. 4 general election. The goal would be to have his successor installed immediately.

The move would most likely give Brat, who is expected to win the race, seniority over those elected in November — since they would not be sworn in until January, according to the Times-Dispatch.

While Cantor has not said publicly what his next move is, sources told Politico that he is considering opportunities in hedge-fund management, private equity and banking.

His wife, Diana, 56, is a partner in the Alternative Investment Management, a New York-based financial advisory firm. She sits on five corporate boards, Forbes magazine reports. The Cantors were married in 1989.

But working as a Washington lawyer or lobbyist doesn't appear to be among Cantor's thoughts, however.

"He’s not coming here," one manager in those fields told Politico. The executive has spoken with Cantor. "He’s done with this place."

"There are two famous streets in America that would be glad to employ him," said Ivan Adler, principal of the McCormick Group executive search firm. "Either Wall Street or K Street would pay him a pretty good chunk of change."

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