Tensions in Tesla Boss Entourage: Elon Musk Wanted to Entrust Fortune to Russian Poker Player

Tensions in Tesla Boss Entourage: Elon Musk Wanted to Entrust Fortune to Russian Poker Player
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It has prevailed in the dense entourage around Elon Musk, The Wall Street Journal reveals. Not so much because of the (discontinued) takeover of Twitter but because of a fierce battle for who could manage the fortune of the richest person in the world.

 

A story with two protagonists who are opposites.

On the one hand, you have Jared Birchall, a 48-year-old Mormon wealth manager who has held several senior positions in the past at major banks such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley and has been Elon Musk’s trusted right-hand man for ten years now. On the other hand, you have Igor Kurganov, a 34-year-old Russian who dropped out of school “because he smoked too much weed” and made a career as a professional poker player.

Musk and Kurganov have not known each other very long but would have become good friends in a short time. The Russian even stayed at the home of the Tesla and SpaceX CEO for a while during the corona pandemic, and the two “often chatted until deep into the night,” the American newspaper writes. Kurganov eventually moved to Texas, where, despite a lack of industry experience, he was allowed to set up a security team for Musk.

But it was mainly Kurganov’s financial vision that apparently made an impression. After a while, Musk even decided to put his good friend in charge of the fund he had set aside for charitable donations. A fund of about 5.7 billion euros, a not inconsiderable part of the total assets (of 230 billion dollars) of the richest man in the world.

That decision immediately went wrong with Birchall, who approached his employer about it at the end of last year. “Elon, you can’t do this,” Birchall is said to have said. Birchall’s mistrust grew even more, when he learned that the FBI was investigating Kurganov.

That investigation is currently unclear; Kurganov was not officially accused of anything. Still, the suspicion remained with Birchall, who continued to beg Musk to end cooperation with the Russian. Something that Musk finally took up six weeks ago reports The Wall Street Journal.

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