Kellyanne Conway’s net worth is higher than you might think. And her recent career climb — from the strategist behind Donald Trump’s rise to his campaign manager to his White House counselor — has been closely watched by the media.
But when Conway joined the Trump administration, she and her husband, New York City lawyer George Conway, disclosed assets worth up to $39.3 million. Much of that wealth comes from Kellyanne’s political-polling business, which she started in 1995, at the age of 28. In September, she finally sold the business, which she had an estimated $1-5 million stake in. She avoided paying hefty taxes thanks to a loophole that applies to executive branch employees.
Today, Conway is earning an annual salary of $179,700, according to the Staff Salaries report that was published by the White House on June 30.
Here’s how she has amassed her fortune — and spent it — since graduating law school.
After graduating from law school at George Washington University, Conway worked as an assistant at a firm headed by Richard Wirthlin, who was President Ronald Reagan’s pollster and strategist. She later worked with Newt Gingrich in the 1990s.
Source: The New Yorker
In 1995, at the age of 28, Conway founded The Polling Company. New York magazine reported that Conway quickly recognized “there was money to be made” in advising private corporations and politicians on how women vote.
Source: New York magazine
During the ’90s, Conway began making regular TV appearances along with other political commentators like Ann Coulter.
She was also a regular on Bill Maher’s show “Politically Incorrect.”
In 2001, she married George T. Conway III. They have four children.
Her husband is a lawyer who graduated from Yale Law School in 1987 and played a part in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He was a member of the team representing Paula Jones.
Conway has worked with several high-profile clients, including the National Football League and Philip Morris.
He currently works for what’s considered one of the country’s “most grueling law firms,” Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Source: Business Insider
In 2001, the newly married couple bought a condo in Trump World Tower, where they lived for seven years. It was during that time that Kellyanne met Trump. “I sat on the condo board, and he’s very involved in his condos,” she told The New Yorker.
Source: The New Yorker
In 2005, she wrote the book “What Women Really Want” with Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster.
By 2008, the Conways had moved to what Forbes has called one of “America’s most expensive ZIP codes” — Alpine, New Jersey. The family joined the Alpine Country Club in Demarest. Annual memberships can cost up to $75,000, plus $25,000 a year in dues.
Conway worked with Gingrich again during his 2012 presidential run. A few years later, The Polling Company began working with various Republican candidates, including Ben Carson and Ted Cruz starting in 2015.
While the super PAC behind Carson’s 2016 campaign paid The Polling Company $65,000, the company later worked with Cruz’s three PACs. When Cruz dropped out, one of his super PACs changed its name and backed Trump, continuing to work with the company. By October, Conway’s firm had made $1.9 million from the 2016 election.
In July 2016, Conway joined Trump’s campaign team as an adviser, and she became campaign manager that August. At this time, her firm was still receiving payments from Trump’s PAC, according to Politico.
Before she sold the company, much of Conway’s income — somewhere between $1 million and $5 million — came from The Polling Company. The couple has also earned thousands in dividends from stocks. One Citibank account has been valued at between $500,000 and $1 million, according to reports.
Source: Office of Government Ethics
At the start of Trump’s term, the Conways reported assets worth between $10 million and $39.3 million. The couple reportedly purchased an $8 million home in the DC area.
On June 30, the White House published the mandatory Staff Salaries report, revealing Conway’s $179,700 annual salary.
While The Polling Company’s website states that Conway resigned as President and CEO as of January 20, 2017, an investigation by Slate in March uncovered evidence that she still retained ownership of the company at that time, which could be considered a federal crime under the criminal conflict of interest statute.
In May, the House Oversight Committee sent The Polling Company a series of questions about Conway’s current involvement with the company. The business was sold to Virginia-based CRC Public Relations in September.