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Larry Kudlow, Trump's Former Top Economic Advisor, Joins Hightower’s Bahnsen Group

The former director of the White House National Economic Council also recently began hosting a weekday program on Fox Business Network.

Larry Kudlow, the cable news host who became director of the National Economic Council during former President Donald Trump’s administration, is joining an advisory practice within Hightower, one of the country’s largest RIAs managing $79.6 billion.

Kudlow will be an economic and policy consultant to the Bahnsen Group, a 29-advisor practice based in Newport, Calif. that manages $2.6 billion. 

David Bahnsen, the managing partner and chief investment officer of Bahnsen Group, declined to share how much Kudlow was being compensated for his consulting. But he told RIA Intel the group was “paying him well” and a fee worth Kudlow’s contribution. 

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There is no planned expiration for the agreement; Bahnsen said he hopes Kudlow will contribute for years to come.

“Larry has been a mentor to me for many years, both personally and professionally. We both share a love of free markets, and Larry has over forty years of experience in public policy and macroeconomics that is going to benefit the process we implement for our clients immensely,” Bahnsen said in a statement Friday. 

“My clients have benefitted from the wisdom of Larry Kudlow for years, albeit indirectly. To formalize this working relationship is a dream for me.”

As a consultant to Bahnsen Group, Kudlow will frequently work with its investment committee. While Kudlow was part of the National Economic Council, Bahnsen visited him at the White House a couple times and was invited to listen to discussions about policy, gaining details and understanding beyond what was being reported by news outlets, he said. Kudlow will bring experiences and insights to the committee and investors that few can, he added.

Kudlow will also attend client events virtually and in person, something he enjoys and has a “gift” for, Bahnsen said.

“David is a friend and supply-side disciple, and I know the seriousness and sobriety with which they engage capital markets. This is going to be a good fit for all of us,” Kudlow said in a statement about his new role with the group.

The consultant and television host previously worked for Bear Stearns and the Office of Management and Budget while Ronald Reagan was president, before becoming a regular contributor to CNBC. In 2018, Kudlow joined the Trump administration as its chief economic advisor and the director of the National Economic Council. He left the White House when Joe Biden became president.

Kudlow is the most recent person to affiliate with Hightower, or one of its practices, whose profile has been elevated by CNBC appearances. Last June, Stephanie Link, a senior managing director and head of Global Equities Research at Nuveen, joined Hightower to become the RIA’s chief investment officer and portfolio manager. Prior to Nuveen, Link was also the chief investment officer at TheStreet, co-portfolio manager of Jim Cramer’s Charitable Trust, and a frequent contributor to CNBC’s shows.

Earlier this week, Kudlow also returned to cable news to host his own Fox Business Network program, “Kudlow.” Before he joined the Trump administration, he hosted his own program “The Kudlow Report” at rival CNBC.

Bahnsen has also been a longtime contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business.

Kudlow and Hightower could not be reached to comment for this story. 

Michael Thrasher (@Mike_Thrasher) is a reporter at RIA Intel based in New York City.

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