A quiet man who does not like the spotlight looks after the fortune of the richest man in the world

big fortune

Birchall may also have amassed a large fortune of his own, even if it was not close to the astronomical levels of his boss. A Morgan Stanley report shows that the typical head of a large family office earns between $ 1 million and $ 3 million annually. But the payment can be much higher, depending on the responsibilities, especially if it involves managing money, by choosing stocks or hedge funds to invest in.

At higher levels, the rewards can be substantial. For example, John Phelan’s work as co-founder of Michael Dell’s family office investment firm was profitable enough that it allowed him to assemble a collection of world-class art pieces, which he displayed in his newly built Palm Beach mansion.

However, the Exam Desk is much smaller in size, which is unusual for someone with such a fortune as Musk. Musk said in 2019 that the facility was run by just two people, during a court hearing he attended on remarks in which he described a British diving expert who helped a team of Thai soccer players trapped in a flooded cave , as a “pedophile” to save. …

Many employees and helpers

“There are a few offices for many well-known families that employ more than a hundred people, and they are full of non-essential decorative items,” says Tayeb Mohamed, co-founder of the Agreus Group, which specializes in family office recruitment.

Muhammad noted that there are usually researchers, a management team and an investment committee, as well as a group of people who take on daily tasks, such as hiring security, or babysitting, and arranging travel.

Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment employs dozens of people in various teams to manage venture capital, real estate and stock selection, including what Elon Musk claims is a $ 500 million bet by Gates against Tesla shares. .

Birchall has someone to help him. Alex Spiro, Musk’s lawyer, played a key role in the billionaire’s defense in his clash with the SEC and during the lawsuit fueled by Musk’s remarks about the “pedophile”. Spiro also declined to comment for this story.

Another wealth management firm, Catalyst Family Office, is also affiliated with Musk. The company describes itself as a multi-family office that provides investment, tax, philanthropy and estate planning services, as well as “personal and lifestyle management.”

Catalyst’s managing partner Ronald Gong has been on the tax roles of a Musk affiliate since 2013. He is listed as an agent for other Musk-related entities, such as Gatsby, who bought a home in the Bay Area. Francisco at $ 23.4 million in 2017. This property was Musk’s last home in California to be sold after moving to Texas in a $ 30 million deal in December. Silicon Valley-based Catalyst has also opened an office in Austin. In August, the LLC was registered in Texas.

Moving to Texas

Birshall also moved his family to Texas, where he bought a $ 2.25 million home in Austin in 2020. Data and published photos of the five-bedroom house show a decorated living space with columns in the entrance, elaborate iron parts, with pool and tennis court outside.

Excess also moved to Texas, along with the Musk Foundation, the Musk Ad Astra School, and several of its other LLCs, all of which name Bershall as director, chief financial officer, or under any other name, including Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink, which Birshall as director and CEO list.

But Birchall does not necessarily have real executive power in these entities. His name, for example, was only added to Neuralink’s paperwork as a legal convenience, a person familiar with the matter said. Birshall rarely visited Neuralink’s office and was not involved in his day-to-day business, says the person who asked not to be named because he was talking about the company’s internal affairs.

Ordinary roles

Birshall has taken on more regular roles as head of the family office, such as facilitating relationships with the big banks to which Musk regularly turns for massive loans. This was how Musk became rich and borrowed to finance new projects, rather than sell Tesla shares. This, too, significantly reduced his tax liabilities.

Text messages between Musk and those close to him, released as part of an investigation into his 2018 tweets about converting Tesla into a private company for $ 420 per share, illustrate one example. Birchall – An SMS in which Birchall promotes to his old employer, stating that Morgan Stanley should be involved in any privatization transaction, as it was “by far our personal best resource”.

“They give you the most credit ($ 350 million) of all the credit lines, and every time we push them for more lending or a lower interest rate, they will work with us,” Birshall wrote. In 2018, Musk secured $ 61 million worth of mortgages on five California properties, with the help of Morgan Stanley.

“That seems fair,” Musk replied.

Cute and out of the spotlight

Unlike his boss, who has more than 90 million followers on Twitter, Birshall’s online presence is negligible. He follows 40 people on Twitter, including Musk and all his companies, and has never tweeted, and never liked a tweet. He is more active on Facebook, where he posts photos of his five children, along with videos and posts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church.

The word that Birchall often describes is “cute”. For this story, four different people interviewed used the same word. But even those who have interacted with him, he does not make a big impression, because he does not talk much.

At times, Birchall’s work seemed to contradict Musk’s gentle personality.

In 2018, Birshall was tasked with digging up information about a man in the “pedophile” case, who criticized Musk’s proposal to use a SpaceX submarine to rescue a besieged soccer team in Thailand.

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