President-elect Donald Trump has named 16 key business leaders to his President's Strategic and Policy Forum, but the bipartisan list does not include anybody from Silicon Valley, even though the technology sector features some of the nation's wealthiest companies.
“Donald comes from the financial services world," forum Chairman Stephen Schwarzman told CNBC. "I think he tends to pick people who he’s comfortable with."
Schwarzman, the co-founder of the Blackstone Group, is leading the forum formed to guide the Trump administration on the economy, reports The New York Times.
Trump, as a New York real estate investor, has lined up a list of executive and industries reflecting his own experience, with a group heavy on people from the finance industries. His major economic positions also include people from that world, including former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to head Commerce.
The forum's members, though, were not picked by political affiliation, and includes several Democratic supporters, including BlackRock asset management firm CEO and Chairman Laurence Fink; General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra; and Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger.
Trump said in a statement his administration is "committed to drawing on private sector expertise," and his forum involves business leaders who know "what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth."
The forum will first meet in February. Schwarzman has known Trump for years, but he was not a vocal supporter or fundraiser for his campaign. However, has said he is excited about the possibility for economic growth under Trump, and believes the business community will become "front and center."
The forum also includes JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Global Infrastructure Partners CEO Adebayo Ogunlesi, who is on the board of Goldman Sachs. However, no Goldman executives themselves were named.
Paul S. Atkins, a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Kevin Warsh, a former Morgan Stanley executive and a former governor of the Federal Reserve are also on the forum.
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