One of the top business managers in largely liberal Hollywood is managing the money of Donald Trump’s campaign CEO and the head of the largest media platform for the racist alt-right, The Daily Beast has learned.
Freemark Financial is a glitzy firm that specializes in wealth and business management for some of the film and TV industries’ most recognizable power players. The firm, run by Andrew Meyer and his CPA partners Anthony Peyrot and Steves Rodriguez, provides services for actors and filmmakers who have worked on HBO shows, Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, Star Wars, and The Fast and the Furious series. (Individual clients have included Adam Driver, Vince Vaughn, and political liberals Johnny Galecki and Kathryn Hahn, for starters.)
It’s also long worked for Stephen K. Bannon, the former Hollywood filmmaker who now serves as the CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Freemark has also worked for three companies closely affiliated with top Trump allies: Breitbart News, political data firm Cambridge Analytica, and an oddly named production house: Glittering Steel.
The Freemark firm is accustomed to fawning coverage from Hollywood trade publications, including a rapturous Variety write-up about its office decor, noting the “zen” atmosphere, and that it is “rendered with the kind of elegant restraint that the Japanese apply to brush paintings and rock gardens.”
None of that coverage notes the firm’s work with the pro-Trump trio. Breitbart News is the unofficial media outlet of the Trump campaign, as numerous reporters have exhaustively detailed. Cambridge Analytica, meanwhile, is a data-management firm (with a spotty record) which got a $5 million check from the Trump campaign in September of this year. And Glittering Steel is a very low-profile movie production company that has made ads for pro-Trump and pro-Ted Cruz super PACs.
A film industry source who has known Rodriguez for years said Glittering Steel was little more than “a front for Bannon.”
And while it’s not surprising that Bannon might have dealings with firms representing liberals in Hollywood—it would be hard to find one that didn’t—the bonds between Freemark and Bannon go far beyond a typical client relationship.
“Steves Rodriguez is basically Bannon’s financial manager, pays all bills, runs his life,” the source said. “Steve and Steves go way back… Steves is politically neutral, though, to the best of my knowledge.” (Bannon has deep roots in Hollywood, which includes directing politically conservative documentaries and co-writing a Shakespearean hip-hop musical set during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.)
All three entities have listed 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1000 on public documents as their address in the past. (Though two have since moved.)
That’s the address of Freemark Financial, as well.
These Bannon-connected businesses are also tied to Rebekah Mercer, a Republican megadonor whose father, Robert Mercer, is a reclusive hedge-fund billionaire. The Mercer duo has emerged as some of the most open-handed right-wing donors, and while many deep-pocketed Republican donors eschewed Trump, they embraced him.
And the connections are clear: As has been reported previously, Robert Mercer is a major investor in Cambridge Analytica and Breitbart News. Before joining Team Trump, Bannon helmed Breitbart, and he’s currently on the board of Cambridge Analytica, according to Politico. Multiple sources with knowledge of the three entities now tell The Daily Beast that Bannon and Mercer are also both connected to Glittering Steel, sealing the bond between all the entities.
(Mercer, Bannon, Freemark, and Breitbart did not provide comment for this story.)
Rebekah Mercer and Bannon have collaborated on a host of projects. And wherever both their names appear, Glittering Steel isn’t far behind. For instance, Bannon and Mercer were both producers on the documentary film Clinton Cash, which dramatizes the Peter Schweizer book of the same title. The film’s closing credits note that it is a Glittering Steel presentation.
(Freemark has also showed up in the “accounting” credits for other Bannon film productions, including the 2011 pro-Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated, The Hope & the Change, a film about disillusioned Obama voters, and Occupy Unmasked.)
Glittering Steel has also made ads for super PACs that the Mercers fund. FEC filings show Trusted Leadership PAC, an outside group that boosted Ted Cruz in the final months of the Republican primary, used its services in May 2016. Before that, Keep the Promise 1—a pro-Cruz super PAC funded by the Mercers—hired Glittering Steel for video production, as the group’s January FEC filings show.
After Cruz dropped out of the Republican primary, Keep the Promise 1 (formerly run by Kellyanne Conway, now Trump’s campaign manager) changed its name to Make America Number 1 in June. And in July, Make America Number 1 paid Glittering Steel $10,500 for media production, as its Federal Election Commission filings for that month show.
Oddly, Bannon’s company worked for a pro-Cruz super PAC when he himself was privately backing Trump. The Daily Beast previously reported that on Aug. 30, 2015, Bannon emailed his former Hollywood writing partner to brag that he was Trump’s real “campaign manager.”
“Don’t u ever read breitbart—its trump central,” Bannon emailed his ex-partner over a year ago.
It’s just that the wealth managers for “Trump central” also happen to be three of the most sought-after business managers in all of famously liberal Hollywood.