Earvin “Magic” Johnson is best known for his professional basketball career, during which he won five NBA championships and three most valuable player awards. Now, Johnson is trying to work some magic in infrastructure.
Johnson resigned from the board of Square today, the payments company announced. In his resignation letter addressed to Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Johnson explained that his new fund, which will focus on US infrastructure, has required more time than he expected.
As you may know, President Obama announced that the federal government would spend $7 – $12 trillion on the US infrastructure over the next 10 years. With this in mind, I launched an infrastructure fund, JLC Loop Capital Partners, to take advantage of the development opportunities nationally. Initially I thought it would take some time to raise capital, however, my team and I were fortunate that the first investor we approached invested $1 billion. Within the 1st quarter of 2016, we have over $1.3 billion in our newly formed fund that will require a significant and unwavering time commitment from me as I work to secure contracts around the country.
Marlon Smith, a former VP at Goldman Sachs, is managing partner of the investment fund, according to his LinkedIn profile. The fund is a partnership between Magic Johnson Enterprises and Loop Capital, a Chicago-based investment firm, the profile adds. It’s not known if JLC Infrastructure has made any investments yet.
Johnson joined Square’s board of directors in June 2015. He’ll be replaced by Lord Paul Deighton, a former commercial secretary to the UK Treasury and an ex-Goldman Sachs partner. Square went public in November 2015 and has had a rough time since then. The company’s stock price fell over 20% after the release of its most recent earnings report.
Magic Johnson Enterprises, Loop Capital, and Marlon Smith did not immediately respond to Quartz’s request for comment.