Donald Trump's choice of Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary would add another billionaire and investing voice to the president-elect's administration.
Ross, 78, is chairman of W.L. Ross & Co. and has a decades-long history as a distressed debt investor. He advised Trump on economic policy during the campaign, along with other wealthy businessmen and investors Harold Hamm, John Paulson and Tom Barrack.
If approved, Ross would take over a Commerce Department set to take a major pivot on trade and job creation. He will become another wealthy businessman making decisions for an administration propelled to the White House by economic populism.
Ross has made what is estimated by Forbes to be a $2.9 billion fortune by saving companies in a variety of sectors, including steel and coal. Before starting his own firm, Ross led Rothschild's bankruptcy practice for 25 years.
The New York Times reported that Ross and activist investor Carl Icahn were bondholders in the Trump Taj Mahal as the casino stood on the edge of bankruptcy.
"We could have foreclosed [on the Trump Taj Mahal], and he would have been gone," Ross separately told the New York Post.
Instead, Ross and Icahn decided to hold off on pushing the matter and negotiated a restructuring with Trump that allowed him to save his brand, the Times reported.