Teneo’s Declan Kelly delivers Bill Clinton, keeps expanding
Tipperary native becoming a global player in business
The media crush around the First Lady was so great that Kelly got hit by the sharp edge of a camera and had had to meet the First Lady while staunching blood from a forehead wound.
Despite that awkward beginning, he has gone on to become a major confidante of both Clintons.
He was often at her side during her election battle against Obama and became known as a fundraising wizard, personally raising millions and became a person the Clintons increasingly relied on.
The relationship has continued strong in the post- election years. It will be the fourth time in a little over a year that the president will come to Ireland at the behest of Kelly.
Haiti and Ireland have become favored projects for Clinton after leaving office. The fact that his focus is still on Ireland is down in large part to Kelly and to Clinton remembering his role in the peace process as among the highlights of his presidency.
Kelly advises Clinton and the president is a client of Teneo. He was once on their advisory board but left and remains "a friend and an unpaid adviser to Teneo and its founders," according to his spokesman.
Rumors swirled at the time that all was not well between Teneo and Clinton.
"There was a lot of misinformation and rumours about Clinton and Teneo," says Kelly "There was never a rift or a division, far from it.
"Read what Clinton said at the time'. He said, and I quote: 'I did not sever my financial relationship with Teneo. I changed it ... Because of the help I continue to receive with my business relationships and speaking engagements, as well as with CGI and other philanthropic activities, like the Ireland investment conference, I felt that I should be paying them, not the other way around.' That's pretty self-explanatory."
On Clinton's close associations with Ireland, Kelly said: "He really believes he can help, and he wants to take every opportunity to do so. That's why he will be back in Ireland again and again. I don't think he has visited too many countries more."
If anything, the links between Teneo and Clinton have become even more entwined since.
That is hardly surprising, the president of Teneo is Clinton’s long-time aide Doug Band who is credited with creating the Clinton post-presidency aura which has seen him rise to become the most popular politician in America.
Kelly also raises considerable sums for the Clinton foundation and served as Hillary Clinton’s economic envoy to Northern Ireland for two years and remains close to the former First Lady.
Teneo was also in the headlines recently because it advised the disgraced former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine whose company MF Global recently went bankrupt on the back of disastrous derivative trading.
Kelly is quick to point out that such advice consisted only of monitoring economic trends and preparing a report each morning for Corzine and they were not involved in any trading issues
Either way Corzine is firmly in the rear view mirror for Teneo as their client list rapidly expands.
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