George Osborne to make even more money with BlackRock gig

Written by Sebastian Whale on 20 January 2017 in Diary

The former chancellor will team up with his former economic adviser, Rupert Harrison

George Osborne is taking on a role at investment giant BlackRock, adding to the former chancellor’s already lucrative income stream outside of Parliament.

Sky News first reported that the former Cabinet minister is joining the Blackrock Investment Institute as a part-time senior adviser, linking him up with his former aide Rupert Harrison.

It comes after it emerged Osborne has received more than £600,000 for public speaking engagements since he was relieved of keys to No11 Downing Street in Theresa May’s reshuffle.

Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive of Blackrock, reportedly lobbied the former chancellor into joining the firm.

It is unknown how much Osborne is set to pocket from the new role, but a source told Sky News it would be “at least” hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.

He will advise on European politics and policy, Chinese economic reform and other areas, BlackRock said in a statement.

“BlackRock wants better outcomes for pensioners and savers and I want to help them deliver that,” Osborne said.

“It’s a chance for me to work part-time with one of the world’s most respected firms and a major employer in Britain.”

Osborne is not allowed to lobby ministers on behalf of the firm for at least two years since leaving the Treasury, and is not able to draw on “privileged” information available to him from his time as Chancellor.

The post adds to Osborne’s growing work outside of Parliament, which includes chairmanship of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and his public speaking endeavours.

The former chancellor earned £307,451 in November for speeches to American financiers - including BlackRock - according to Parliament’s register of members’ interests.

It comes on top of the £320,000 that Osborne charged for his speeches in September and October – including £80,240 from Palmex Derivatives for one speech in New York.

Overall, he has earned more than £627,000 for speeches since signing up with The Washington Speakers Bureau, which represents some of the biggest political heavyweights alive today.

His former economic adviser Harrison was appointed chief macro-strategist for multi-asset funds that invest in equities, bonds and cash at Blackrock in June 2015.

Public Affairs News reported this week that Osborne’s former chief of staff, Thea Rogers, is taking a top policy and communications post at Deliveroo.

Taking the title of VP, head of global comms and policy, she will advise the firm on how to lobby the government, although Rogers is banned from becoming personally involved in lobbying the UK government on behalf of Deliveroo for two years after leaving office.

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