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Trump expected to name billionaire Wilbur Ross commerce secretary

Wilbur Ross
David Orrell | CNBC
Wilbur Ross

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name billionaire Wilbur Ross secretary of commerce, NBC News confirmed.

He could be named to the position as early as Wednesday, a transition official told NBC.

Ross, the 78-year-old billionaire head of W.L. Ross, has built is reputation as a so-called vulture investor, swooping in to rescue failing companies across a number of industries.

More significantly in recent days, he has been a close adviser for Trump as the Republican puts together a team for his new administration that begins in January. Ross left Trump Tower on Tuesday smiling while wearing a camouflage patterned "Make America Great Again" hat.

The appointment also represents another insider pick for a candidate who promised to bring outsiders in to fix what ails Washington. 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 for 25 years led Rothschild's bankruptcy practice. He has praised Trump for promising a "more radical, new approach to government."

— CNBC contributed to this report