Rubin returns to Wall Street and puts Centerview on the radar

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The Independent Online

Robert Rubin, the Clinton-era Treasury secretary whose lucrative membership of the Citigroup board made him one of the public villains of the credit crisis in the US, has made a low-key return to Wall Street.

Centerview Partners, a boutique investment bank founded just four years ago, has been using Mr Rubin as an informal adviser to its clients, and is providing him with his main business office.

The former Goldman Sachs boss returned to Wall Street after his stint at the Treasury and became one of Citigroup's most senior board members. After the financial crisis hit, he faced intense criticism for having taken $15m a year in salary and bonuses while the bank hurtled into the riskiest areas of the mortgage market and ultimately needed a $45bn taxpayer bailout. At a hearing into the crisis earlier this year, he said he "deeply regrets" having missed the coming collapse.

Centerview was founded by four senior bankers from several major Wall Street firms, and has won some powerful clients in a short time. It advised Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation on its bid for Dow Jones, owner of The Wall Street Journal, and counselled Kraft on its successful hostile bid for Cadbury this year.

The firm has also set up a private equity business, whose investments include Nielsen, the market research company.

"I was not planning to take on another major commitment," Mr Rubin told The New York Times, but at Centerview "I could help an extremely successful but younger firm grow, and I could work with clients."