Avenue founder Lasry gunning for France ambassador post

By Rob Copeland

Thu Jan 24, 2013

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Big-time Obama donor in the running to win posh Paris gig.

Avenue Capital founder Marc Lasry is willing to leave his hedge fund's New York confines for Paris, if reports are to be believed.

Lasry has been lobbying to be appointed as the U.S. ambassador to France, The New York Times reported recently, adding credence to a month-ago report in Bloomberg News. Contacted by Absolute Return, Lasry declined to comment.

If he gets the gig, it will likely be seen as a big thank you gift from President Barack Obama for Lasry's support over the past four years. An early Hillary Clinton donor leading up to the 2008 election, Lasry reversed course and doubled down in 2012 by becoming a so-called bundler of more than $500,000 in donations for Obama and even hosting at least two fundraiser dinners for the President.

(Lasry also famously hired Chelsea Clinton in 2006 as an Avenue associate; she later repaid the favor by resigning and telling the national media she "didn't get any meaning from it.")

A post across the pond would be an interesting business move for Lasry, who last year raised $2.8 billion for a fund betting on the rebound of European distressed assets. In May 2012, he recommended investing in European credits. "It's a great opportunity," he said. "I would be a big buyer of Europe if you can."

If things go his way, he may have many more opportunities to spend his money in Europe.

ISSN: 2151-1845 / CDC10004H

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