Ex-Blair chief Powell to join Morgan Stanley

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's former chief of staff, is joining Morgan Stanley as a managing director in its European investment banking business.

Mr Powell will join the Wall Street investment bank on 1 January, and will be responsible for "client and transaction management" for the UK and Europe. This will include introducing the bank to government and corporate contacts he built up while he worked for Mr Blair.

His appointment will further strengthen Morgan Stanley's links with the Labour government after Jeremy Heywood, Mr Blair's former principal private secretary, left his job as Morgan Stanley's co-head of UK investment banking to become Gordon Brown's head of domestic policy in June.

Mr Powell spent 16 years as a diplomat before joining Mr Blair as chief of staff in 1994, when Labour was in opposition. Before that, he was a journalist with the BBC and Granada. He ran Mr Blair's office until he resigned as Prime Minister in June.

Investment banks have increasingly hired former politicians to introduce them to clients and advise them on government policy. Lord Waldegrave, a former Conservative minister, is vice-chairman of investment banking at UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, and the former prime minister Sir John Major is a special adviser to Credit Suisse. The former German chancellor Gerhard Schroder, works part-time for Rothschild.

Simon Robey, Morgan Stanley's UK head of investment banking, said: "An appointment of this calibre underlines our firm's long-standing and deep commitment to Europe. We are delighted at the prospect of having Jonathan's intellect, insightfulness and wealth of experience available to us and our clients."

Mr Powell, 51, was the principal negotiator on the Northern Ireland peace process during his time in Downing Street. He was a key figure in forming the Blair government's foreign policy and overall political strategy, and was the only senior member of Mr Blair's staff to serve for the full 10 years he was Prime Minister. He was educated at Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania.

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