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Commerce nominee to divest Invesco, many WL Ross holdings if confirmed

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Commerce nominee to divest Invesco, many WL Ross holdings if confirmed

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor who President-elect Donald Trump has nominated to be the next Secretary of Commerce, will divest his holdings in dozens of financial instruments and securities if he is confirmed by the Senate, according to governmental ethics office disclosures.

He will also resign from leadership and board positions at a number of companies, including banks and other financial institutions.

Ross' private equity firm WL Ross & Co. LLC, where he is board chairman, is a subsidiary of Invesco Ltd. Ross is a director of Invesco Pvt. Capital Inc. and is also the CEO of the private equity groups at Invesco. He will resign from those positions and other roles affiliated with Invesco and WL Ross & Co. if confirmed.

Ross will also resign from his positions at the Bank of Cyprus Public Co. Ltd., where he is vice chairman; Sun Bancorp Inc., where he is a board director and trustee; and Sun National Bank, where he is a director and trustee.

Much of Ross' wealth is tied up in a variety of financial instruments affiliated with WL Ross & Co., which he will divest. He will be given 180 days, rather than the typical 90 days, to divest many of those assets because they are illiquid, the filing states.

Ross will divest his Invesco stock and stakes in many other companies, according to the filing. The Commerce nominee holds Invesco shares worth $5 million to $25 million, plus other unvested Invesco shares that will be vested and distributed to him before he takes the cabinet post. Those shares are worth another $5 million to $25 million.

Other companies in which Ross directly holds equity stakes include Air Lease Corp., BankUnited Inc. and Ocwen Financial Corp., though the value of each of those individual holdings is less than $500,000, according to the disclosures. He will divest those assets.

The disclosures also listed Ross' brokerage accounts, which include holdings in Intercontinental Exchange Inc., CME Group Inc., Moody's Corp., Apple Inc. and other companies. He will divest those holdings as well.

Ross will retain his holdings in several WL Ross entities that operate in the real estate financing and mortgage lending sectors, including WLR/IVZ Mortgage Recovery Associates LLC. His art collection is valued at more than $50 million, according to the filing.