Eric Adams, Democratic candidate for New York City Mayor, speaks during a campaign appearance in Brooklyn, New York, June 11, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Eric Adams may not be New York City’s mayor, but he’s already beginning private alliances with some of the city’s most influential business leaders.
Adams, the overwhelming favorite to win the mayor’s race that fall, began speaking to executives soon after securing the Democratic nomination earlier this month after a busy primary, according to people familiar with the matter had. Those who refused to be named do so in order to speak freely about private conversations.
Adams tries to come to terms with wealthy executives after Mayor Bill de Blasio battled business leaders for years. The two-time Democratic mayor has called for taxes to be raised for the rich and has reportedly ignored business leaders’ suggestions on how to deal with the Covid pandemic.
“A breath of fresh air and very promising,” said a longtime Wall Street executive who had met with Adams in the past few days. That person said Adams wants to work with business leaders and various experts to attract top talent to work in the town hall.
Kathryn Wylde, CEO of pro-business group Partnership for New York City, said she heard from Adams shortly after winning the area code. Adams said he wanted to hear her ideas on how to create a better relationship between town hall and business leaders, she told CNBC.
The organization, with over 300 members, plans to host a face-to-face meet-and-greet for Adams in September, provided there are no new Covid restrictions. All members are invited to the meeting. Adams previously attended several virtual meetings with the group.
The New York City Executive Committee partnership includes Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, and former hedge fund manager John Paulson .
Politico reported that Dimon called Adams to congratulate him and the two expressed an interest in working together. The outlet also said Adams spoke to billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Charles Phillips, a past president of tech giant Oracle and former co-chair of veteran Citigroup executive Ray McGuire’s first mayor’s office campaign, recently met with Adams, a person familiar with the matter.
Billionaire and Gristedes grocery store founder John Catsimatidis was photographed with Adams at Rao’s famous Italian restaurant.
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Executives are relieved by what they see as the business-friendly message from Adams.
“His focus on public safety, good management, data-driven management, and creating a business-friendly and prosperous climate” are all factors that encouraged executives to speak to Adams, Wylde said. She added, “We haven’t heard this news in many years.”
Business leaders hope that after years of fighting with de Blasio, Wylde and several others against CNBC, they have the best chance of working with the mayor’s office.
Another executive said business leaders hope Adams, a retired police captain and the current president of the Brooklyn district, would forge more private-public partnerships.
Evan Thies, a spokesman for Adams, told CNBC in a statement emailed Wednesday that the Democratic candidate for mayor’s office believes a happy business community will help the city thrive.
“To strengthen our economy and recover from Covid so that the unemployed and the working class in New York can thrive, Eric believes it is critical to create a positive business environment for business partners that will create jobs for New Yorkers. Offer training and internships. “Said Thies.
A spokesman for de Blasio did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.
The parliamentary elections are scheduled for November 2nd. Adams’ GOP opponent is Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the anti-crime group Guardian Angels.
Wall Street dollars gave Adams a big boost in the primary. A Super PAC backing Adams has received more than $ 4 million from financial executives including Steve Cohen, Dan Loeb, Ken Griffin, and Stanley Druckermiller.
Adams is also going on a “thank you tour” to praise those who supported him, explained another person with direct knowledge of the matter. He has been in contact with union leaders and charter school representatives.
The Super PAC that Adams supports was run and partially funded by advocates for charter schools. One person familiar with Adams’ interactions says that while he didn’t thank the executives for donating to the PAC, he got in touch with some of them to work together when he becomes mayor.
Adams received support from dozens of unions, including second place from the influential New York State Nurses Association.
These conversations “give him [Adams] some leeway, if he does something that you disagree with, at least they know he’s a friend, “one person familiar with these discussions told CNBC.” Great messages and great politics on his side. “