WASHINGTON – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the wealthiest White House contender from either party, is worth as much as $250 million, according to information released by his campaign Monday.
The former venture capitalist's wealth — reported in a range of $190 million to $250 million — is spread throughout a dizzying array of investments, that include banks, large investment management firms, foreign export credit corporations and real estate.
Romney reported the details of his wealth in a personal financial disclosure report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Presidential candidates had been required to file such disclosures by May 15, but Romney asked for two 45-day extensions to obtain detailed values of his and his wife's blind trusts.
The report offers the most detailed public look yet at the finances of the former Massachusetts governor, who has refused to release his income tax returns, and who previously filed only state financial disclosure forms that described his holdings in the most general terms. His most recent Massachusetts report, filed in May for calendar 2006, was only 10 pages long, compared with the 47-page federal report.
The federal report was something of a revelation for Romney as well.
His assets have been held in a blind trust since January 2003, but the Office of Government Ethics requires a detailed list of individual holdings. Forced to open his blind trust, the Romneys — and the world — discovered precisely which stocks, bonds and mutual funds they own.
In the report, Romney underscores his lack of control over the holdings, writing, "In each case, R. Bradford Malt, as trustee, has complete investment discretion over the assets held by these investment vehicles."
The report said: "Since Jan. 1, 2003, neither Mr. Romney nor Mrs. Romney has had any control over the assets acquired or disposed of by the vehicles, neither Mr. Romney nor Mrs. Romney has received any reports identifying specific assets held, and the management of the assets has been deemed blind by the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission."
The report highlights a continuing connection between Romney and Bain Capital, the venture capital firm he founded and which he left in 1999 to assume leadership of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
Earlier this year, Romney played down any lingering connection after The Associated Press reported Bain Capital and Bain & Co., the management consulting firm where Romney used to work, had links to Iranian business interests or deals despite Romney's campaign-trail call for state pension funds to divest from Iran. At the time, a spokesman highlighted Romney's 1999 resignation from Bain, while Romney himself said his divestment call applied only to future activity, not past dealings.
A notation in Romney's filing, however, says that his Bain investments have been in his and his wife's blind trusts and that "neither Mr. Romney nor Mrs. Romney has had any control over the assets acquired or disposed of" since January 2003.
A note in the report also states that Romney asked for Bain's underlying holdings, but, like other funds in his blind trust, the fund managers said the information was confidential and declined to provide it.