London: Citigroup has hired former British foreign secretary William Hague to be a senior adviser to the Wall Street bank, as Britain prepares to negotiate its exit from the European Union. Banks and investment firms have a long history of recruiting former political leaders and policymakers as advisers, and the appointment of Mr Hague follows that of Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England as senior adviser to Citi in July. "We're delighted Lord Hague will be working with Citi as an adviser, providing his unique perspective to our clients," a spokesperson for Citi said on Tuesday.
"Lord Hague's experience on the global stage and his understanding of the forces shaping the world will be a key asset for Citi," he said, adding that he would not hold a management role.
When Citi held a call for clients on the risk implications of Brexit a few days before the national referendum vote on whether the country should leave the EU in June 2016, it included William Hague and ex-Swedish finance minister Anders Borg, who is also an adviser to the bank. Around 1,400 clients dialled in and bankers said similar briefings have been popular.
Mr Hague, who also served as the leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, quit frontline politics in the 2015 General Election but was voiced support for Britain to stay inside the European Union.
The UK head of Citi, which employs around 9,000 people in Britain, said last October that some jobs in London's financial sector would move to countries inside the European Union after Britain leaves the bloc, regardless of what deal is struck on access to the EU financial services market.
Banks have appointed more than 30 advisers who in the past sat at the top table of global politics and central banking, according to analysis by IFR. They include former leaders of Britain, Mexico, Australia and Sweden, top European policymakers, and former central bank governors from the United States and Europe.
Former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso joined Goldman Sachs in July as an adviser and non-executive chairman of its international business, which sparked controversy and an EU ethics investigation which subsequently cleared him of any conflicts.
JPMorgan hired former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2008 to advise on strategic and political issues, and it also has former Italian finance minister Vittorio Grilli and ex-Israel central bank boss Jacob Frenkel as vice-chairmen.
© Thomson Reuters 2017