AFFÄRER | Tony Blair rör sig fortfarande i politiska kretsar. Numera är han en kombination av lobbyist och internationell dealmaker.
Precis som Bill Clinton ägnar sig Tony Blair både åt att tjäna pengar och idka välgörenhet. Men till skillnad från ex-presidenten är Blair betydligt populärare utomlands än på hemmaplan.
Stephanie Baker skriver i Bloomberg Markets:
In his new incarnation, Blair is taking on highly paid roles that don’t sit well with Britons still agitated by what they saw as Blair’s foreign adventurism when he was in office.
He’s a paid adviser to the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, which is chaired by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He’s helping to arrange deals with China Investment Corp., the country’s $482 billion sovereign wealth fund.
Blair also is advising President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, whose administration has paid Blair’s team of advisers 8 million pounds a year since the spring of 2011, including fees to Portland Communications, a PR firm set up by his former deputy press secretary Tim Allan.
Human Rights Watch Inc., a New York-based nonprofit advocacy group, condemned the Kazakh government for the shooting deaths of 12 striking oil workers during a clash with police in December 2011.
In 2012, Blair signed an agreement with Geraldo Alckmin, governor of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, to assemble a team of advisers to help modernize the state’s public services.
“I wanted to create a different type of post-prime ministerial career altogether,” he says. “From the outset, I had a very clear view of what I wanted to do. I wanted to create my own set of institutions.”
He’s done that. The Office of Tony Blair manages his work advising governments. Tony Blair Associates runs his financial consulting business. His charities include the Africa Governance Initiative, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Tony Blair Sports Foundation.
At the heart of Blair’s firms — all ultimately owned by him — are two serendipitously named London-based limited partnerships that aren’t required to publish accounts under English law, Windrush Ventures No. 3 LP and Firerush Ventures No. 3 LP.
“There’s no reason to make your life that complicated unless it’s to reduce tax or hide something,” says Adrian Huston, a former U.K. tax inspector and director of Belfast, Northern Ireland-based accounting firm Huston & Co. “The only reason you do all these intervening transactions is to create a smoke screen.”
Blair shrugs off with a laugh any suggestion that he is trying to dodge taxes.
“Anything I get, I pay full 50 percent tax on,” he says.
Unlike many rich Britons who make money overseas and devise tax avoidance strategies by spending time outside the country, Blair says he has always been resident in the U.K. for tax purposes.
The rationale for his Byzantine-looking business configuration is simple, he says.
“We wanted confidentiality,” he says. “There’s a section of the media that will go after anyone connected with me, and I can’t operate like that.”
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Markets, maj 2013.