LONDON — George Osborne is making £650,000 a year working one day a week for investment management giant BlackRock and has made hundreds of thousands of pounds more speaking at financial institutions around the world since leaving government last year.
Osborne, who was Chancellor up until last July, joined the Blackrock Investment Institute as a senior adviser on a part-time basis in January.
BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink said at the time that he would provide “invaluable perspective on the issues that are shaping our world today” but would not lobby the government.
The register of MPs’ interests, which discloses any employment or gifts to politicians, was updated on Wednesday to reveal that Osborne will be paid £162,500 per quarter for just 12 days work. That works out at £650,000 a year for 48 days work, or £13,541.66 per day.
The disclosure also said Osborne expects to receive shares in BlackRock. The Financial Times reported that this will be in the form of a bonus payment and said the shares could be worth up to another £200,000, although they will vest over three years and their value depends on the performance of BlackRock’s share price.
The publishing of Osborne’s huge pay package coincided with the spring budget and led to accusations on Twitter of attempts to “bury” the story by releasing at such a busy moment in the news cycle.
The register of MPs’ interests also shows Osborne has made hundreds of thousands of pounds giving speeches to financial companies all around the world since leaving government last year. Osborne has earned £786,448 from 15 speeches between September 2016 and February 2017.
Osborne’s speeches have been almost exclusively to financial institutions, including Aberdeen Asset Management, St James’s Wealth Management and banks such as HSBC, Lloyds, Citi, and JPMorgan. His most lucrative gig was two speeches in two days given to JPMorgan in New York, which earned him a total of £141,752 for 7 hours work — over £20,000 an hour.
Since last July, the former Chancellor has also received generous gifts from the likes of billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US TV host Charlie Rose. Bloomberg paid £4,086.65 to fly Osborne and his wife out to Paris for a dinner last October, while Rose spent £4,753.62 to get Osborne to a festival in the well-heeled Colorado ski resort town Aspen.
On top of his lucrative speaking career, Osborne’s register of interests shows he received a £120,000 allowance from the McCain Institute in Washington after it awarded him the Kissinger Fellowship in January. The allowance is to cover “the costs of travel, accommodation and research support associated with this fellowship.” Osborne is the first-ever recipient of the new fellowship. The role will involve him helping to lead working groups on foreign policy at the university.
Amazing how these stories were snuck out on Budget day
◙ Osborne’s Blackrock jackpot
◙ David Cumming quits SLI
◙ RBS execs’ £16m in bonuses
— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) March 8, 2017
Despite no longer being chancellor Osborne is still burying bad news on budget day. The Tory earns £650k at BlackRock for four days a month
— Oliver Duggan (@OliDuggan) March 8, 2017
George Osborne to earn £650,000 at BlackRock for four days a month
Former UK chancellor’s pay disclosed in MPs’ interests on Budget day
— Mehrdad Yousefi (@MY21_Oracle) March 9, 2017
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