Former prime minister Tony Blair is to join Wall Street bank JP Morgan as a part-time advisor

Business Materials 10 January 2008 11:57 (UTC +04:00)

( AFP ) -Blair, who became international envoy to the Middle East after standing down following a decade as PM in June last year, will advise the financial services giant on political and strategic issues.

He told the paper he now expected to take on "a small handful" of similar appointments, adding: "Nowadays, the intersection between politics and the economy in different parts of the world, including the emerging markets, is very strong."

Blair declined to say how much he would be paid for his work with the bank but added that he planned to launch an interfaith foundation later this year and would also work on climate change issues.

JP Morgan's chief executive Jamie Dimon said that Blair would be "enormously valuable" to the firm.

"There are only a handful of people in the world who have the knowledge and relationships that he has," he added.

Since leaving office, Blair has undertaken a series of lucrative speaking engagements, including a trip to a luxury Chinese housing estate in November last year for which he earned a reported 500,000 dollars (340,000 euros) for three hours' work.

Blair's predecessor as prime minister, John Major, became an advisor to private equity firm Carlyle after leaving office, while Margaret Thatcher became a consultant to tobacco group Philip Morris.