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HomeFT SelectOsborne earns £650,000 at BlackRock for four days a month

Osborne earns £650,000 at BlackRock for four days a month

George Osborne will earn £650,000 a year for working four days a month at BlackRock, more than ten times what he is paid as an MP once expected share awards from the world’s largest fund manager are included.

The detail of Mr Osborne’s pay at BlackRock, which he agreed to join as an adviser earlier this year, was disclosed in the register of members’ financial interests at the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The disclosure came on Budget day, which Mr Osborne watched from the backbenches. It also revealed that he earned £786,450 last year from giving 15 speeches — mostly to financial institutions.

The most he earned for speaking was the £81,174 and £60,578 he was paid for two speeches at JPMorgan’s New York headquarters lasting a total of seven hours last October.

The former chancellor earned £15,081 for a speech at Lloyds Bank — which is part-owned by the government — in February 2016, but he gave this to a charity in his local constituency.

The 45-year-old became a part-time senior adviser at the BlackRock Investment Institute, the US group’s research arm, in February. He expects to spend a day a week working for the institute.

On top of being paid £13,542 a day by BlackRock, Mr Osborne said he expected to receive an unspecified amount of shares in the asset manager.

The share-based bonus is likely to take his annual income from the US group above $1m, according to a person familiar with the matter, but it will vest over three years and the amount he receives each year will depend on the company’s performance and the value of its shares.

BlackRock has said Mr Osborne will give his views and advice on European politics and policy, Chinese economic reform and trends such as low yields and longevity and their impact on retirement planning. It added that he will not engage in any lobbying of the British government. He joins Rupert Harrison, his former economic adviser, who has been a strategist at BlackRock since 2015.

The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, a government body, has approved the job. As a backbencher Mr Osborne is paid £74,000 a year for doing his day job; as a cabinet minister he received nearly £70,000 more.

In Wednesday’s disclosure, Mr Osborne revealed that Countrywide Developments, the property company, donated £8,023 for him and a member of staff to travel by helicopter and car to the Ripon North Conservatives’ Summer Reception last July.

Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and head of the eponymous media company, donated £4,087 for Mr Osborne to attend a dinner he organised in Paris last October.

BlackRock manages $5.1tn of client money to invest across financial markets. As such it has become one of the most powerful financial companies and takes pains to build strong relationships with governments around the world.

Mr Osborne left office last July after six years at the Treasury. Last summer he joined the elite Washington Speakers Bureau, following in the footsteps of former prime ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, who both earned speaking fees through the agency after leaving office.

In addition to his lucrative speaking and business engagements, the former chancellor is also spending time building the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a think-tank he launched late last year.

Mr Osborne this year became a Kissinger fellow on a US academic programme run by the McCain Institute, which is backed by Republican senator John McCain and provides the former chancellor with £120,212 to cover his costs.

Via FT