Morgan rewards former PM Blair with +$1 million per year


Blair Takes Advisory Position at JPMorgan

By David Wighton
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NEW YORK -- Tony Blair is joining one of the Wall Street's best-known banks in what the former prime minister told the Financial Times would be the first of a series of positions he expects to take in the private sector.

Mr Blair, who stepped down as prime minister last year, is to become a part-time adviser to JPMorgan, where he will use his experience and contacts to provide political and strategic advice to the US bank and participate in some client events. Mr Blair’s income from the job has not been disclosed. However, one New York recruitment consultant said it was likely to be more than $1 million (L500,000) a year.

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's chief executive, said Mr Blair would be "enormously valuable" to the company. "There are only a handful of people in the world who have the knowledge and relationships that he has."

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Blair said that he expected to agree to "a small handful" of similar appointments with other companies in different sectors.

"I have always been interested in commerce and the impact of globalisation. Nowadays, the intersection between politics and the economy in different parts of the world, including the emerging markets, is very strong."

Such advisory jobs are popular with former world leaders. Sir John Major, Mr Blair's predecessor, and George H.W. Bush, the former US president, both became advisers to Carlyle, the US private equity firm.

Since leaving office, Mr Blair, who is believed to have a large mortgage to pay on a house in Connaught Square, London, has joined the international conference circuit. He was paid $500,000 for one speech in China. Mr Blair declined to say how much he would be paid by JPMorgan.

Mr Blair's move comes a month after Jonathan Powell, his former chief of staff, landed a full-time job with JPMorgan's rival, Morgan Stanley.

Mr Blair, who is serving as an international envoy to the Middle East, said he planned to launch an interfaith foundation this year and was likely to do some work to help tackle climate change.

In the longer term, he is being promoted as a candidate to be the first full-time president of the European Union by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president. "I have learnt not to speculate about those sorts of things," Mr Blair said.

The JPMorgan job was brokered by Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who also negotiated a reported L5 million advance for Mr Blair's memoirs.

Mr Barnett said that when Mr Blair stepped down, he was approached by a variety of companies seeking relationships, including "more than half a dozen financial services companies."

Mr Dimon, who is one of the leading Democrats on Wall Street, said he phoned Mr Blair personally. "I went to visit him and we hit it off."

He said it was important to both men "to try to make the world a better place and have a bit of fun doing it."

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