As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio nears the end of his second and final term in 2021, the race to run one of the world’s top economic hubs may include at least two businesspeople: entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Citigroup Vice Chairman Raymond McGuire, both of whom are reportedly eyeing a bid.
In a newly released interview, taped on March 3, the head of a New York City-based nonprofit Robin Hood says McGuire is equipped with the right mentality to serve in office.
“He’s got a public servant’s heart,” says Wes Moore, the chief executive of the anti-poverty organization Robin Hood. “He’s a remarkable man.”
From 2007 to 2012, Moore worked as an investment banker at Citigroup with McGuire, where the two became close. Moore said McGuire is “one of the most important mentors in my life still to this day.”
McGuire, a major Democratic donor who served on the finance committee for the presidential bid of Democratic California Senator Kamala Harris, has served on a number of boards in New York City, among them the New York City Police Foundation and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Last October, McGuire lamented political gridlock in a conversation with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer at the publication’s All Markets Summit.
“The polarization has stalled the debate,” McGuire said at the time. “We need to move forward more collaboratively.”
Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that McGuire is planning to run for mayor of New York City, citing an unnamed source close to him. CNBC reported in January that members of the business community were encouraging McGuire to run and that he had not ruled out a bid, also citing unnamed sources.
Other likely candidates for New York City Mayor include Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who said if he does run he will not accept donations from real estate developers and corporate PACs. Last month, Yang ended an insurgent bid in the Democratic presidential primary.
Business organizations like the Black Economic Alliance have urged McGuire to run, according to the New York Post. He would likely take a more business-friendly approach than de Blasio, who has criticized what he considers the outsized power of large corporations and endorsed progressive Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Moore made the remarks during a conversation that aired in an episode of Yahoo Finance’s “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
In 2017, Moore took over as CEO at Robin Hood, which distributes between $150 million and $180 million each year to over 250 nonprofits. Before his current role, Moore worked on Wall Street, served as a captain in the army, and spent time under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the White House. From 2014 to 2017, he led BridgeEdU, an organization that seeks to make higher education accessible for low-income students.
Moore recounted a discussion with McGuire about Moore’s own decision to leave the banking industry for a civically focused profession.
“I remember having a conversation with him about it, kind of saying, listen, Ray, I think I need to do something else,” Moore says.
“I remember him looking at me, and first letting me know, saying just so you know, there is no like gap years in finance,” he says. “Once you leave, it’s not like you can just jump back in. It’s complicated. And I said, ‘I get it.’
“I remember what he said to me,” Moore adds. “He said, ‘you’re ready, and I’m proud of you.’ And he gave me very much the permission that I needed to go out and go after the things that I wanted to make a difference in the world.”