Former president Bill Clinton has clarified his relationship with Teneo, the merchant bank and consultancy firm run jointly by Declan Kelly, former US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, and Doug Band, Clinton's chief advisor since leaving the White House.
Irish and US newspapers reported that Clinton had stepped down from the advisory board of the organization where he was a member along with former British leader Tony Blair.
The move led to speculation as to why Clinton had stepped aside. His just-released statement makes clear why.
“In 2011, the Clinton Foundation marked ten years of rapid growth and significant achievements. From the start, the foundation has operated with a lean, flat management structure and a high level of operational independence for its ongoing projects. Two of our largest efforts, CGI and CHAI, our health access initiative, have independent boards.
“The foundation’s rapid growth, the management strains caused by our work in Haiti — following similar efforts in the Gulf after Katrina and in Southeast Asia after the tsunami — and the fact that our Chairman Bruce Lindsey and I aren’t getting any younger, convinced me to undertake a management review to clarify what we needed to do as an organization to assure another decade of success.
“The review produced several positive suggestions, the most important of which was that we hire a full time, New York-based Foundation President, which we are currently in the process of doing. Outside of my Foundation work, my personal office will handle special projects like Haiti and my work for Ireland, as well as my political and business activities.
“I am so proud of the work we have been able to do around the world; and the staff that has worked alongside me for these past ten years has played a key role in that success — Doug Band among them.
“I couldn’t have accomplished half of what I have in my post presidency without Doug Band. Doug is my counselor and a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, which was created at his suggestion. He tirelessly works to support the expansion of CGI’s activities and my other foundation work around the world. In our first ten years, Doug’s strategic vision and fund-raising made it possible for the foundation to survive and thrive. I hope and believe he will continue to advise me and build CGI for another decade.
“Finally, I did not sever my financial relationship with Teneo. I changed it. Because of the invaluable 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.”
Also, Clinton has asked Teneo Co-CEO Declan Kelly to continue as his ongoing advisor on all things Irish, north and south. Clinton credited Kelly recently as being the organizer of the successful Irish investment conference attended by Irish leader Enda Kenny in New York two weeks ago.
In a statement, Kelly noted that Tony Blair continues as an advisor and that Teneo has expanded rapidly.
“We are now up to 90 people in the consulting and merchant bank businesses combined. We have opened now in New York, DC, Toronto, Dublin, London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Beijing. It's the only business in the world operating with the consulting and merchant banking platform combined in this manner. We are representing many of the world's largest companies and high net worth individuals,” he said.