Tony Blair world’s highest-paid public speaker: report

October 29th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 29 (IANS) Tony Blair has made more than 12 million pounds ($19 million or Rs.962 million) since stepping down as British premier over a year ago, a British newspaper reported Wednesday.The sum amounts to more than six times his entire life earnings up to his departure from office in June 2007.

The Times said Blair is now thought to be the world’s highest-grossing speaker, having made more from speeches in the past 12 months than Bill Clinton did in his first year after leaving the White House.

The former British prime minister, who launched his speaking career in October last year, tours the world speaking to audiences including investment banks, private equity firms and chambers of commerce.

“Blair receives 84,000 pounds of taxpayers’ money to run a private office and is entitled to an annual pension of 63,468 pounds, but this pales to insignificance beside his private earnings,” the Times said.

Blair made 4.6 million pounds from his memoirs, an estimated two million pounds from the bank JPMorgan Chase and 500,000 pounds from Zurich Financial Services.

Clinton earned 5.8 million pounds from speeches in his first year outside the White House.

“I can tell you that Tony Blair has already made more money than that,” the newspaper quoted a “speaking industry source” as saying.

“He is now probably the highest-paid public speaker in the world.”

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