KKR hires former Australian Prime Minister Turnbull as global senior advisor

HONG KONG (Reuters) - KKR & Co has appointed former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as a global senior advisor, the global investment firm told Reuters on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gestures during a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump (not pictured) at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

The appointment is effective from June 1, KKR said in a statement.

Turnbull, 64, served as Australia’s 29th prime minister from September 2015 to August 2018, when he was ousted in a leadership battle.

The appointment marks a return to the world of finance for Turnbull, a former lawyer who held a host of high-profile corporate roles before entering politics as a local member of parliament in 2004.

In the 1990s, Turnbull was the local managing director of global investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He was also an investor in one of Australia’s first internet service providers, OzEmail, reportedly buying a stake for A$500,000 ($345,450) in 1994 and selling it for A$57 million to MCI Worldcom five years later.

In office, Turnbull had several Cabinet ministries and shadow ministries for the conservative-leaning Liberal-National coalition, before orchestrating a leadership coup and becoming prime minister in September 2015.

He was himself unseated as prime minister in another leadership challenge in August 2018, one of four Australian prime ministers to be overthrown by their own party in a decade.

Turnbull’s first appointment since leaving the government puts him in the company of several Australian prime ministers and senior politicians who have take up financial advisory roles after leaving office.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating became an adviser to investment bank Lazard Australia, while former New South Wales Premier Bob Carr became a consultant to the country’s biggest investment bank, Macquarie Group Ltd.

KKR counts around 18 senior advisors and 27 industry advisors who provide counsel on investment implications of trends and developments in public policy, regulation, societal needs and technology around the world.

Among the senior advisors with experience in the Asia-Pacific region are the former group chairman of HSBC Holdings PLC, John Bond, former chairman of Qantas Airways Ltd Leigh Clifford and former Singaporean minister Lim Hwee Hua, KKR’s website showed.

Reporting by Kane Wu in Hong Kong and Byron Kaye in Sydney; Editing by Christopher Cushing