Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was hired as an adviser to JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Thursday — a part-time post that his spokeswoman says will not affect his role as a Mideast peace envoy.
Blair will give JPMorgan's senior management team "strategic advice and provide insights on global issues," said Ruti Winterstein, a Blair spokeswoman in Israel.
The appointment will not infringe on his duties with the so-called Quartet — the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia, she said. Blair is helping Palestinians build up their economy and governing bodies in preparation for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"He will continue as Quartet representative in the exact way, with the same level of commitment and time input," Winterstein said.
Blair's compensation at JPMorgan was not disclosed.
The Financial Times quoted Blair as saying 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 globalization," he was quoted as saying. "Nowadays, the intersection between politics and the economy in different parts of the world, including emerging markets, is very strong."
The paper also quoted Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's chief executive, as saying 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," Dimon told the FT.
Blair, who stepped down as Britain's prime minister last year, was in Israel on Thursday, where President Bush was on a three-day visit to show support for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks following seven years of violence. Blair was scheduled to meet with Bush on Friday.
Since leaving office, Blair has joined the international conference circuit, receiving $500,000 for a speech in China.
Other former world leaders have taken similar advisory jobs, including former British Prime Minister John Major and former president, George H.W. Bush, who both became advisers to Carlyle, the U.S. private equity firm.