Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has done the best to keep his total earnings a secret.Since leaving office in 2007, he has reportedly amassed over £20 million ($31 million) through a range of business and political ventures. However, he’s also done his best to hide his finances from the public.
The Guardian reported in 2009, that Blair was pumping money through an arrangement called Windrush Ventures which, by way of the UK’s Partnership Accounts Regulations, allowed him to hide financing information about some of his emerging ventures.
Regardless, it is now known that Blair has had a multitude of earners since his departure from politics. Whether he’s unfairly used his influence and position to achieve this is for each individual to judge for themselves, but listed here are the reasons why Blair is one of the wealthiest ex-PMs of all time.
Blair was paid about £4.7 million ($7.3 million) by publisher Random House for the rights to his memoir in 2007.
The former Prime Minister sat on the money for a while, before announcing that he would donate all profits from the book to the Royal British Legion in 2010. The funds were used for rehabilitation facilities for British military personnel.
Critics questioned Blair's motives with his donations while rumours also circulated that the charity missed out on the hefty advance that Blair initially gained from the publishing house.
Following his resignation from government, Blair became an obviously coveted after-dinner speaker commanding a hefty six-figure fee.
Usually booked through the Washington Speakers' Bureau (who also handle his buddy George W. Bush) one speech Blair agreed to in China earned him a reported £200,000 ($310,233).
In 2008 Blair benefitted from an additional salary of £2 million ($3.1 million) when he took on a part time advisory role with investment bank JP Morgan.
At the same time, Blair took on a similar role with Swiss insurer Zurich, allowing him to pocket a total of £2.5 million ($3.9 million) annually from these jobs.
Taking on the role of Middle East Peace Envoy after leaving office, Blair came under criticism that he was using his contacts and influence in the region to push forward the interest of banks who had kept the ex-PM on their payroll.
Two actions in particular were highlighted by critics. Firstly, the advocacy of Qatari-based telecommunications company Wataniya, which Blair assisted in securing the right to supply bandwidth to the West Bank. Secondly, the lobbying for the development of an oil field off the Gaza Strip, which would be owned and operated by British Gas.
Both companies mentioned were big clients of JP Morgan.
In 2009, Blair set up his consultancy agency, Tony Blair Associates, run out of a London office where he employed 70 staff to handle his business, charity work and memoirs.The agency offered economic and political advise to willing clients.
The creations of the agency was described by Blair's spokesmen as a means of better organising the former Labour chief's time.
That didn't mean Tony Blair Associates didn't rake in some pretty hefty clients.
Blair may also have profited considerable from a relationship with Libya's ex-dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Blair built a relationship with Massachusetts-based Monitor Group, a public affairs company that reportedly earned millions of dollars working in association with Gaddafi.
In addition, Blair reportedly visited Libya to lobby for JP Morgan with Gaddafi's son.
Blair receives an annual pension from the British tax payers of £63,468 ($993,144) and received an additional £84,000 ($130,669) to run a private office.
Additionally, his specialised security team cost the tax payers a reported £6 million ($9.3 million) a year.
Blair has set up two major international charities.
The Africa Governance Initiative seeks to educate African leaders, on all levels, into better ways of governing their population while attracting economic investment in order to help tackle problems related to poverty.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation aims to provide education in order to promote cohesion and understanding between the world's major religions.
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