Zelenskiy Meets With Ken Griffin, Bill Ackman in Bid for Funds to Rebuild Ukraine

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(Bloomberg) — Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met Wednesday with US financial leaders including Ken Griffin and Bill Ackman to discuss using private-sector funds to help rebuild his country, according to people briefed on the meeting.

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The gathering at Ukraine’s mission to the United Nations in New York was arranged by JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive Mary Erdoes and included representatives from Ukraine, the people said, asking not to be named because the gathering was private.

Other attendees included Blackstone Inc. President Jon Gray, Starwood Capital Group’s Barry Sternlicht, former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, according to the people.

The US and EU have pledged billions in public funds to help Ukraine rebuild critical infrastructure that has been destroyed in a war with Russia that has raged for more than a year. Earlier Wednesday, in his first in-person address to the United Nations Security Council, Zelenskiy lashed out at Russia for killing tens of thousands of his citizens and called for Moscow to be stripped of its veto as one of the permanent members of the UN’s top decision-making body.

Read More: Zelenskiy Blasts ‘Criminal’ War, Seeks End to Russia UN Veto

Ukraine’s recovery will involve “colossal investments” and be “the biggest project of our time,” Zelenskiy told global leaders in July 2022. The country estimates it needs more than $750 billion through 2032 in grants, debt and equity — more than triple the EU’s annual budget. Upwards of $150 billion is needed for housing and related infrastructure alone.

Fox Business News reported on Zelenskiy’s meeting with Wall Street leaders earlier Wednesday. Michael Bloomberg, majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, also attended, according to one of the people briefed on the gathering.

JPMorgan is Zelenskiy’s adviser on attracting private capital for the projects. Spokespeople for the New York-based bank and those invited to the meeting declined to comment or had no immediate comment.

–With assistance from Dawn Lim, Silla Brush, Hannah Levitt and Erin Fuchs.

(Updates with more attendees in third and penultimate paragraphs.)

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