In 2007, as Romney prepared his first run for president, Malt sold stock in dozens of potentially controversial companies, including casino operators, tobacco growers, and firms with ties to Iran. Last year, after Romney pushed for tougher trade sanctions against China, Malt dumped a number of Chinese holdings. He recently shed a money market mutual fund that had invested in government-backed mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are blamed for exacerbating the housing bust.
In early 2010, as Romney advanced toward a second presidential campaign, Malt decided to close the $3 million UBS account he set up in Switzerland seven years earlier, realizing it could become a political issue. In 2009, the US government sued UBS to obtain the names of thousands of Americans who secretly held billions of dollars in Swiss accounts.
Malt said he opened the Swiss account not to hide assets, but to diversify Romney’s investments into foreign currencies.
Published: Jan 31, 2012