Gordon Brown is to join the former central bankers Ben Bernanke and Jean-Claude Trichet on a new five-strong new global advisory board established by the international investment firm Pimco in his first role in the private sector since resigning as prime minister in 2010.
The board will help to guide Pimco’s investment process with what the company described as their “economic, geopolitical, and market expertise and insights”.
In addition to Bernanke, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve – who will chair the new board, and Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank, the board members also include Ng Kok Song, the former chief investment officer of the Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning for the US State Department.
A spokesman for the former prime minister said that he would make no personal gain from the appointment. Any fees will be donated to charities run with his wife Sarah.
The spokesman said: “Mr Brown is looking forward to discussing economic events and trends again with Ben Bernanke, Jean-Claude Trichet, Anne-Marie Slaughter and others. Any money goes to the office of Gordon and Sarah Brown to support their charitable and public service work. Mr Brown does not receive a penny.”
In a statement, Pimco said that the new board members would attend the firm’s annual secular forum in May where the firm assesses the global economic outlook over the next three to five years.
“Together, the board members will contribute their economic, geopolitical, and market expertise and insights to the firm’s investment process,” the statement said. Pimco employs Andrew Balls, the younger brother of the former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, in a senior role.
Brown is understood to welcome the chance to discuss global economic issues. But friends say that his main focus at the moment is on his role as the UN special envoy for global education. On Monday, the former prime minister spoke in Dubai about his plan to create a fund to educate 1 million Syrian refugee children in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
In an article in the Washington Post last month, Brown spoke of how he is promoting the “double shift” system in Lebanon, in which Lebanese children are taught in the morning and Syrian refugee children are taught in the afternoon.
Brown wrote of how the curriculum serves as an antidote to the extremist propaganda of Islamic State. He wrote: “The curriculum’s focus on peace and reconciliation between religions is an antidote to the extremist propaganda of the Islamic State.
“The curriculum challenges the narrative of the violent extremists that there is an irreconcilable divide between Muslim believers and the apostate ‘others’.”
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