Former Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke to advise Citadel hedge fund
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will work as advisor to a leading hedge fund, becoming another onetime Washington official to move into the high-paying financial industry.
Bernanke will be an “outside senior advisor” at Citadel, a Chicago-based firm that oversees $25 billion in investments, the company said Thursday. He will consult “on developments in monetary policy, financial markets and the global economy,” Citadel said.
“He has extraordinary knowledge of the global economy and his insights on monetary policy and the capital markets will be extremely valuable to our team and to our investors,” said Ken Griffin, the firm’s founder and chief executive.
Griffin is worth $6.6 billion and was the fourth-highest earning hedge fund manager and trader last year, according to Forbes magazine.
Bernanke called Citadel “a dynamic firm with tremendously talented people and a rigorous approach to research and investing.”
“I look forward to adding my perspective on a range of issues affecting our global economy,” said Bernanke, who headed the Fed from 2006 until early 2014.
He becomes the latest former Washington official to take a job in the financial industry. Former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner became president of private-equity firm Warburg Pincus last year.
Last month, Jeremy Stein, who served as a Fed governor from 2012-2014, became an advisor to hedge fund BlueMountain Capital Management. And former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) joined Wall Street investment bank Moelis & Co. last year.
In an interview with the New York Times, which first reported Bernanke’s new job, he said he was sensitive to criticism about a so-called revolving door in which people move back and forth between high-profile positions on Wall Street and in Washington.
Bernanke promised not to do any lobbying in Washington and noted that Citadel is not regulated by the Federal Reserve, which oversees bank-holding companies and other firms.
“I wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest,” he said. “I ruled out any firm that was regulated by the Federal Reserve.”
After stepping down from the Fed, Bernanke became a distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, and began writing a memoir about his experience leading the central bank during the 2008 financial crisis and the years afterward.
Titled “The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath,” the book is due out in October.
Bernanke has been increasing his profile recently -- and his bank account. Last month, he launched a blog on the Brookings website about his “reflections on economics, finance, and policy.”
And he has been giving paid speeches around the world, including one in Abu Dhabi last year for which he reportedly was paid $250,000. Bernanke earned a $199,700 in his last year as Fed chairman.
Citadel did not say how much Bernanke would earn as an outside senior advisor.
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