(Reuters) - Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, has agreed to become a senior adviser to Citadel Investment Group, a $25 billion hedge fund founded by billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Bernanke, who handed the reins of the U.S. central bank to Janet Yellen last year, will advise Citadel's investment committees on global economic and financial issues and meet the fund's investors, the newspaper said. (nyti.ms/1Oh5f4A)
Reuters was not immediately able to reach Citadel or Bernanke for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
Big-name hedge funds are making a habit of hiring former central bankers and other government officials as their funds grow in size and scope.
Bernanke’s predecessor, Alan Greenspan, joined hedge fund Paulson & Co as adviser in 2008. Jeremy Stein, a Federal Reserve Board governor for two years, joined hedge fund BlueMountain as a consultant last month.
Bernanke told the New York Times that he was sensitive to public anxiety about the “revolving door” between Wall Street and Washington.
He chose Citadel, in part, because the fund is not regulated by the Federal Reserve and his role would not involve any lobbying. Bernanke told the newspaper that he had declined offers from banks.
Chicago-based Citadel, founded in 1990, is a multi-strategy hedge fund and ranks as one of the industry’s biggest. Bernanke will receive an annual fee, which he did not disclose, but will neither own a stake nor receive a bonus based on the fund’s performance.
His arrangement with Citadel is not exclusive and he could take on other consulting roles, the New York Times reported.
Bernanke’s eight-year stint as Federal Reserve chairman was marked by the financial crisis and a frustratingly slow recovery that prompted him to drive rates to near zero and launch three rounds of bond purchases to stimulate the U.S. economy.
In his introductory post last month on a new blog hosted by Brookings Institution, Bernanke wrote: “Now that I’m a civilian again, I can once more comment on economic and financial issues without my words being put under the microscope by Fed watchers.”
Bernanke will remain a full-time fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi and Robin Paxton