Tony Blair, Hedge Fund Lansdowne In Speaking Deal

Jan 25 2010 | 9:41am ET

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is joining hedge fund Lansdowne Partners—at least for a few days.

Blair, who left office in 2007 after a decade at the U.K.’s helm, will make four speeches on geopolitical issues for Lansdowne this year. He’ll be paid tens of thousands of pounds for the appearances, Sky News reports.

For now, the relationship between the hedge fund, in which Morgan Stanley owns a 20% stake, and the former politician will go no further. But Sky reports that the speaking deal could evolve into a formal advisory role at the hedge fund if things go well. Blair is no stranger to such work—he’s served as an adviser to JPMorgan Chase and Zurich Financial Services.

But a role at Lansdowne would raise eyebrows, coming in the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama’s bid to strictly limit banks’ trading and hedge fund involvement. Nor is Lansdowne known as a friend to Blair’s Labour Party, with the firm’s co-founder, Paul Ruddock, serving as a major donor to the opposition Conservative Party, widely tipped to oust Blair’s successor Gordon Brown in elections set for this year.

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