Clinton Aide's Memo Details Ties Between Consulting Firm and Clinton Foundation

Doug Band spelled out his efforts to secure foundation donations from consulting clients

Hillary Clinton
October 26, 2016

The overlap between Hillary Clinton's State Department, her family's foundation, and a consulting firm run by members of her inner circle has reaped a windfall for all involved, steering tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton family and generating lucrative contracts for a consulting practice run by a close confidante, an internal memo reveals.

The 2011 memo, authored by Clinton confidante Doug Band, reveals for the first time the precise financial flows between the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Band's firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family's private business endeavors.

The Band memo also provides additional details on the specific relationships between his consulting clients, which include multinational corporations and deep-pocketed foundations, and the Clinton family's business and charitable efforts.

Band sent the memo to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, then the president of the left-wing Center for American Progress, in a November 2011 email. It was one of thousands released by Wikileaks after hackers believed to be acting in concert with the Russian government breached Podesta's email account.

At the time the memo was written, Bill Clinton had four existing business "arrangements," Band wrote. "We secured all of them; and, we have helped manage and maintain all of his for-profit business relationships."

Since 2001, those relationships netted "more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years," Band wrote.

Teneo's work on behalf of the former president included arranging paid speeches at major multinational companies. With the help of Teneo co-founder Declan Kelly, the firm arranged speeches at UBS, Ericson, BHP Billiton, and Barclays that together earned the former president more than $2.5 million.

Ericson also chipped in another $400,000 to cover the cost of a private jet, Band revealed.

Kelly's involvement with Teneo has recently come under scrutiny due to his overlapping roles at Clinton's State Department, where he served as an envoy to his native Ireland, and his consulting work for a firm that would later be absorbed by Teneo.

According to an April report in Politico, Clinton's State Department expanded the use of a designation known as "special government employees" in order to employ Kelly in a role that allowed him to continue operating a private consulting business, and working on behalf of clients that might be affected by State Department policy, while he served in an official government capacity.

When Kelly left his State post in 2011, he and Band co-founded Teneo, which took over work for Kelly's three existing clients: UBS, Coca-Cola, and Dow Chemical.

Those companies were already donors to the Clinton Foundation, but Band and Kelly worked to dramatically scale up their financial commitments.

"Cognizant of the Foundation’s significant fundraising needs as well my role as the primary fundraiser for the Foundation for the past 11 years, as a partner in Teneo, Mr. Kelley [sic] and I have asked and encouraged our clients to contribute to the Foundation," Band wrote.

"The foundation donors require significant maintenance to keep them engaged and supportive of the foundation," he added. "We have sought to make that the case."

According to Band's memo, 11 of the firm's clients have donated six- or seven-figure sums to the foundation.

In many cases, his and Kelly's work to secure additional commitments from Teneo clients involved leveraging their personal relationships with the Clintons.

Coca-Cola had already contributed $530,000 by the time Hillary Clinton joined the State Department (and given an official post to Kelly). Kelly not only advised the company, he "enjoy[ed] a close relationship with one of the company's largest shareholders Don Keogh," Band wrote.

Kelly arranged an introduction between Bill Clinton and CEO Muhtar Kent at Clinton's DC home in January 2009. By the following year, he had secured $5 million from the company for the foundation.

Dow Chemical paid $75,000 in membership fees for the foundation's Clinton Global Initiative summit from 2007 to 2009. After Kelly arranged a golf outing between Bill Clinton and CEO Andrew Liveris, the company increased its support nearly ten-fold. It gave more than $700,000 in 2010 and 2011.

Insurance giant Allstate had donated just $15,000 to the foundation by 2009. After Kelly arranged a meeting between Clinton and executive vice president Joan Walker, "his long time friend," the company gave $250,000 in 2011 alone.

In some cases, Teneo's business relationship with foundation donors moved in the other direction: Band's closeness with the Clintons gave him access to donors that he then leveraged into contracts for his firm.

By 2011, for-profit education company Laureate International Universities had donated about $1.35 million to the foundation. According to Band, "that evolved into a personal advisory services business relationship for President Clinton. I have managed this relations [sic] and, since 2011, Teneo partners have helped manage this relationship."

Laureate paid Clinton $3.5 million annually to serve as its "honorary chairman," according to Band. While Hillary Clinton led the State Department, the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank, awarded millions of dollars in grant money to a nonprofit chaired by Laureate's chief executive.

That type of financial confluence has plagued the Clintons and their foundation during the 2016 presidential cycle, as political opponents highlight the overlap between the foundation's supporters and beneficiaries of State Department policy under Clinton.

The foundation and the Clinton family have repeatedly denied that donors were given any sort of favorable treatment. A spokesman for the foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this story. Teneo did not return a request for comment.

Teneo has been at the center of the controversy, and Band's dual roles at the foundation and the consulting firm have drawn allegations that he built a business off of political connections gleaned throughout decades in the Clintons' orbit.

"Doug has always been reasonably commercial, let’s just say," a former Clinton White House colleague told the New Republic's Alec MacGillis in 2013. "He was a gatekeeper who charged tolls."