In 2018, after the brutal killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, Mr. Mnuchin skipped the conference but still visited the country and met with the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. A U.S. intelligence report released in February held Prince Mohammed responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s killing.
In January 2021, less than two weeks before leaving office, Mr. Mnuchin visited Saudi Arabia to meet with its finance minister and discuss counterterrorism and illicit finance. The Middle East trip, which also included stops in Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, was cut short amid Mr. Trump’s chaotic transition process.
Mr. Mnuchin has been returning to the Middle East this year while getting his fund up and running.
During a trip to Israel in June, he told The Jerusalem Post that he was setting up an office there because of the country’s strength in the cybersecurity technology and financial technology sectors, which will be focuses of the fund.
“We hope to be considered one of the best strategic partners in these areas,” Mr. Mnuchin told The Jerusalem Post.
In July, Mr. Mnuchin’s fund, Liberty Strategic Capital, led a $275 million investment in Cybereason, a cybersecurity firm that focuses on ransomware attacks.
Some former Treasury officials have joined Mr. Mnuchin’s new venture. They include Eli Miller, his former chief of staff, and Brian Callanan, who served as general counsel. Joseph F. Dunford, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is also a senior adviser, and David Friedman, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, is leading the office in Tel Aviv.