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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 14:16 GMT
Will Blair be value for money?
Tony Blair
Tony Blair is to advise JP Morgan on global strategy
The banking industry has a tradition of employing politicians. Hiring their services can be expensive, but experts say in Tony Blair's case, JP Morgan might have a bargain.

The BBC has learned that the bank is paying Mr Blair $5m (2.5m) a year for his advice.

For that, the top bosses will probably get to meet him up to four times a year, and be able to call on the phone for advice, analysts reckon.

That might seem a lot of money, for not very much advice. But experts say it could work out well for JP Morgan.

Very few people are quite as well qualified as they think - or the company thinks - they are
Peter Waine, Hanson Green

Banking expert Peter Hahn at Cass Business School in London says: "It's a great coup for JP Morgan.

"Banks are doing more and more business with government entities. His contacts should help opening doors around the world."

Short shelf-life

Others say that Mr Blair is wise to cash in now. They include Peter Waine, co-founder of Hanson Green, which specialises in recruiting top executives.

"Politicians have a limited shelf-life," he says. "Even Mr Blair may only have two years of benefit."

And before other banks consider snapping up former politicians, he has a warning.

FROM POLITICS TO FINANCE
Robert Rubin, Citigroup, was US Treasury Secretary
Jonathan Powell, Morgan Stanley, was adviser to Tony Blair
Joseph Prueher, Merrill Lynch, was US ambassador to China

"Very few people are quite as well qualified as they think, or the company thinks, they are.

"There is often disappointment if an adviser fails to deliver any big deals."

For Mr Blair, the deal has advantages beyond the pay cheque.

It will be an opportunity to make high-powered contacts, as companies will often have a selection of eminent advisers that they bring together from time to time.

And as an adviser, he has none of the legal responsibilities of a company director.

The work for JP Morgan will account for only a small part of Mr Blair's income.

He is a sought-after speaker and can earn up to 200,000 for a speech. This month, he embarks on a particularly lucrative tour of the United States and Canada.



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