The Daily Telegraph

Javid in talks to join investor in Chelsea bid

Move to Centricus would mark a return to the financial services industry for former chancellor

- By Simon Foy

SAJID JAVID is in talks to join a boutique London investment business that unsuccessf­ully bid for Chelsea Football Club last year.

The former chancellor, who has announced he will leave Parliament after the next general election, is in talks to join Centricus Asset Management as a senior adviser.

The move, which was first reported by Bloomberg, would mark a return to the financial services industry for Mr Javid, who previously worked at Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan before entering politics.

Mr Javid, who was chancellor for less than a year under Boris Johnson, announced in December that he would not stand again at the next election.

Centricus is a $40bn (£33bn) fund manager and was set up in 2016 by exdeutsche and Goldman Sachs investment bankers. The company both invests and advises other investors.

Last year, the business launched a failed bid to buy Chelsea worth a reported £3bn, after sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich was forced to sell the premier league club following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nizar Al-bassam, Centricus’s cofounder, and Garth Ritchie, its chief executive, are both Chelsea fans and hold season tickets.

The company was also linked to a multibilli­on-dollar financing package for European football that was designed to thwart plans for a breakaway “super league” in 2021. In 2019, Centricus bought Capri Palace Hotel & Spa, a luxury Italian hotel frequented by celebritie­s including Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo Dicaprio.

As well as investment­s in brands, media and sport, Centricus specialise­s in technology and financial services. The company advised Softbank on the creation of its $100bn Vision Fund, which was launched in 2017 as the largest venture capital fund in history.

Mr Al-bassam was previously a senior executive at Deutsche Bank, overseeing investment banking activities across Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Prior to first being elected in 2010, Mr Javid also worked at Deutsche Bank in London, covering emerging markets. Mr Javid, who served as home secretary and health secretary, will join a growing list of politician­s moving into high-paying jobs in finance after leaving politics.

George Osborne, another former chancellor, collected a share of a £26.5m payout last year for his first year working as partner at takeover advisory boutique Robey Warshaw. He also worked as a senior adviser at Blackrock, the world’s biggest money manager, prior to accepting his current role. Meanwhile, former prime minister Sir Tony Blair has served as a senior adviser to JP Morgan’s management team.

Mr Javid was a senior adviser on JP Morgan’s advisory council for Europe, the Middle East and Africa while serving as a backbench MP between August 2020 and July 2021.

He left the position after replacing Matt Hancock as health secretary during the pandemic.

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