Second careers in high finance have proved lucrative for ex-
presidents and other former politicians.
Having found out who will be in the White House next year, do not pity the loser. He can always have a future career in high finance.
It is quite a lucrative one, too.
Take Tony Blair, the former British prime minister. In September, Mr. Blair was called to Claridge's hotel in London to mediate a renegotiation of the proposed acquisition of the mining giant Xstrata by the mineral trader Glencore, according to British news reports. Mr. Blair, who negotiated peace in Northern Ireland, put his skills to good use, apparently earning himself about $1 million for three hours of work.
That is not a bad hourly rate, and it is in addition to the reported $4 million a year he is paid by JPMorgan Chase to be a senior adviser and to "provide briefings on political trends." You will be happy to know, by the way, that Mr. Blair was able to save the Xstrata deal. Wall Street likes former politicians for lots of reasons. Perhaps, like Mr. Blair, they are good negotiators or mediators when a deal needs to be made.
But another reason is that they are simply good with people.
Remember Dan Quayle? Since 2000, the former vice president has worked at the hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management, where he is now chairman of the advisory board. His pay is not disclosed, but it is probably well into the millions, if not more.
And what does Mr. Quayle do for that money? According to his personal Web site, he "regularly travels throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia to meet with the heads of investment banks, corporations, buyout shops, potential investors and other business leaders," among other things. In other words, he is a very well-paid schmoozer. In fairness, the former vice president states he also does things like advising Cerberus on the conduct of business by its portfolio companies.
Not only can vice presidents make money in finance by chatting with people, they can also build empires. Al Gore shows that you can use Wall Street to become superrich and do it in the name of a cause, all while building your own franchise.
Mr. Gore is a co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management and a senior partner of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is also a senior adviser to Google and a member of Apple's board, where he has options on about 98,000 Apple shares, according to the company's last proxy statement. Apple, by the way, is trading at about $583 a share.
Mr. Gore's efforts are part of his mission to alert the world to global warming and embrace the environmental causes he firmly believes in. It is unclear what the former vice president does at Kleiner, but Generation Investment is focused on investing in sustainable companies. Mr. Gore closed the fund in 2008, having raised $5 billion. Whether the strategy works is unclear, because the fund's returns are not disclosed, but as of Sept. 30, the fund still had at least $3.6 billion. Mr. Gore has made millions building a financial empire based on his beliefs.
Sometimes it is not for a cause, but simply for the money. Mr. Gore's former boss, Bill Clinton, is most widely known in his post- presidential period for his work with the Clinton Global Initiative. But the former president has also made millions working in finance.
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