WASHINGTON Jan 23 U.S. Senator John Kerry and
his wife intend to divest holdings in dozens of companies,
including oil company Exxon Mobil Corp and drug maker
Pfizer Inc, to avoid conflicts of interest if he is
confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The plan was disclosed in an agreement posted online by the
Office of Government Ethics, a U.S. government agency.
Kerry, who is awaiting the Senate's approval to replace
Hillary Clinton as America's top diplomat, is one of the richest
senators, largely due to the fortune of his second wife, heiress
and philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry.
The investments Kerry and his wife have agreed to divest
include holdings in telecommunications giant AT&T Inc,
manufacturer 3M Co, insurer Metlife Inc, defense
contractor Raytheon Co, payroll firm Paychex Inc
, Tractor Supply Co, Coca-Cola Co,
Microsoft Corp, several international banks and private
equity funds and H.J. Heinz Co.
John Kerry's investments are held through three family
trusts. His wife's investments are held through trusts as well
as custodial accounts with Mellon Bank, according to the ethics
Kerry, a five-term Massachusetts senator, promised that he
would divest the holdings within 90 days of his confirmation,
according to a Jan. 8 letter he sent to a State Department
Kerry's net worth was estimated in 2011 to be between $184.3
million and $287.7 million, according to the Center for
Responsive Politics' analysis of personal finance disclosures.
"I will not participate personally and substantially in any
particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on my
financial interests ... unless I first obtain a written waiver,"
Kerry wrote in the letter.
Kerry also pledged to resign from his positions with the
non-profit American Security Project and Harvard University if
he is confirmed as secretary of state.