The Koch Brothers Create a Company to Manage Their Wealth

The Koch Brothers, Charles and David, are well-known as the co-owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the United States, as well as for organizing fundraising for politically conservative causes and politicians. They’ve recently begun using a limited liability company, 1888 Management LLC, to oversee their personal funds.

1888 has personal significance for them because that’s the year their grandfather, Hotze “Harry” Koch, left the Netherlands to come to America seeking his fortune, eventually becoming a newspaper editor in Texas with a libertarian point of view. In 1900, Harry’s son Fred C. was born. Fred C. founded the oil refinery that became Koch Industries, which Charles Koch took over from him.

Charles Koch, the elder brother, is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Koch Industries. Together with David, he has long supported various libertarian and conservative causes, including The Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, the Libertarian Party and Americans for Prosperity.

Recently Charles published an op-ed piece supporting Bernie Sanders’ view that systemic, structural inequality was a problem in the United States, though he disagreed with Sanders’ socialist solutions for solving the problem. Although he is a prominent supporter of conservative causes, he is also pro-choice, in favor of same-sex marriage and advocates reforming the criminal justice system.

1888 was registered in the state of Delaware in 2014, so it is a relatively new entity. For a wealthy family to use such a vehicle for handling their personal financial wealth is not unusual.

Trent May is in charge of 1888, its Chief Investment Officer. He began working for the Koch brothers in 2011, after time spent managing his own hedge fund and then the Retirement System fund for the state of Wyoming.

According to the article in Bloomberg Business, May is looking for companies in which the Koch family funds can acquire a sizable percentage of the equity. The telecommunications firm X5 OpCo LLC is reportedly one of 1888’s investments.

May is highly regarded for the people he used to work for in Wyoming, including Thomas Williams and Laura Ladd. Williams was Executive Director of Wyoming’s retirement system and responsible for hiring May. Ladd is the Chairwoman.

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