Meet the Top Two Men in Elon Musk Inner Circle and Get a Glimpse of the Fight Over His $230-Billion Fortune

Luay Rahil
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Jared Birchall is 48 years old man who is becoming one of the most influential people in Elon Musk's life.

Birchall is a mild-mannered guy who acts as a fixer for an impulsive billionaire who repeatedly elicits controversy. He leads Tesla Inc.’s leader’s family office, Excession, and Musk’s enterprises.

Family offices’ overall purpose is to grow and transfer wealth over generations. So, Birchall is in charge of protecting and growing Musk'soffices' wealth, but he is a competitor named Igor Kurganov, who is hard to beat.

Birchall manages more than $240 billion.

It is difficult to manage all things Musk.

Elon Musk makes quick decisions, and he wants someone to execute these decisions. That's where Jared Birchall comes in. While Musk is busy changing the world, Birchall is in charge of ensuring that Musk's personal life and wealth stay intact. His responsibilities include:

  • Selling uMusk's homes.
  • Attempting to buy a social media company.
  • Arranging private jets.
  • Hiring nannies or security guards.

For all things Musk, Birchall makes it happen.

Jared Birchall is a powerful, secretive man.

Birchall graduated from Brigham Young in 1999 and quickly joined Goldman Sachs Group.

However, he left soon after and worked at Merrill Lynch in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he got fired from Merrill Lynch after management lost confidence in him. However, he carved out a respectable and remarkable career in finance.

In 2010, Birchall joined Morgan Stanley and quickly became Senior Vice President, who excelled at managing the fortunes of the rich. Then, six years later, he created a private wealth management advisory called the 'family officeA' — a firm that serves ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

In 2016, Musk recruited him to manage his family's wealth.

Musk recruited Birchall to manage his billions.

Birchall's first assignment was to set up Excession, a family office named after a science-fiction novel written by Iain Banks. The novel talks about artificial intelligence, power, and control.

It is important to mention that Musk is a passionate believer in artificial intelligence and believes that the next world war will be fought against and lost to AIs.

Excession manages most of Musk's investments, including Tesla, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the Boring Co., and Neuralink. In addition, Excession is also involved in Musk's discrete philanthropic investments.

Excession is a small family office.

Most of Musk's wealth, which currently stands at almost $220 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is comprised of his 16% stake in Tesla. Birchall manages the majority of it.

Compared to other family offices, Excession is a considerably small enterprise, which is unusual for someone of Musk's vast wealth. The firm is run by just two people, Birchall, and another unknown person.

Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates's family offices employ more than 100 employees. So, the fact that Excession has two employees shows how much Elon Musk trusts Birchall.

Raphael Amit, a Wharton School business expert, states, “When you pick someone to handle the family office, it shows you trust him. Elon provides Birchall with complete control over his fortune.”

More about Jared Birchall

Birchall lives with his wife, Laura, and their five children in a $4 million, five-bedroom mansion west of Austin, 20 miles from downtown.

Birchall has built his considerable wealth managing billionaire's fortunes. One Morgan Stanley report indicates that the typical head of a large family office earns about $1 million to $3 million a year.

However, the compensation can be considerably higher depending on the role and responsibilities, specifically if it includes directly managing money by picking stocks or hedge funds to invest in.

He works from a common eight-story office building on the outskirts of Austin beneath an underpass.

A new dangerous player inside of Musk's inner circle

Recently, Musk hired a new adviser, a 34-year-old ex-professional gambler named Igor Kurganov.

Musk and Kurganov spent a lot of time together during the pandemic strategizing on how to shape the planet through charitable giving, known as "Effec"ive Altruism.”

Kurganov, who lacks experience in security and finance, became a powerful Musk's inside Musk’s inner circle. His first move was to move from London to TexaMusk'sreplace Musk’s protection detail. Soon after, Musk put him in charge of his charitable giving, dispersing funds as he saw fit.

Elon Musk's inner circle is going through a rough patch.

This move worried Birchall, and he confronted Elon Musk by telling him, “You can’t.”

This internal turmoil inside Musk's inner circle provides a glimpse of what is happening behind closed doors. Purchasing Twitter without due diligence is just a side effect of Musk's inner circle's inability to advise him wisely.

Less than three months since Musk announced he was buying Twitter, he walked away from the deal. He blames Twitter's executive for not giving him more information about the number of spam accounts on the platform. Is that true?

Birchall and Kurganov are not the same.

Birchall is an Eagle Scout and practicing Mormon. He doesn't smoke or drink.

Kurganov is a high-roller poker player who accumulated his wealth playing poker and dropped out of college to smoke marijuana.

Birchall and Kurganov have different core values, so, understandably, there is a conflict behind the scenes. This internal conflict led Musk to interfere and state that Kurganov would oversee $5.7 billion in Tesla shares that the CEO pledged late last year to donate to charity eventually, and Birchall will manage the rest.

Telsa future

Ten years from now, Tesla won't be worth as much as it is worth today.

Most automakers will produce electric vehicles and use tax incentives from the government, which will erase a big competitive advantage that Musk has used since he started his company. So Telsa indeed has the first mover advantage, which has certain benefits, but history tells us that second movers have their advantages as well.

I predict Tesla will be a boutique brand catering to the ultra-rich, while GM and other automakers use their production capabilities to mass produce electric cars. This change will force Musk to pay close attention to Telsa and pursue fewer other projects.

It doesn't matter who is an insider or outsider. Musk needs a lot of smart people around him to keep him focused and keep Tesla number one in producing electric cars.

Who do you think should manger Musk's money?

Comments / 1

Published by

Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

More from Luay Rahil

Comments / 0