Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke signed on as an adviser to the Citadel, a $25 billion hedge fund started by billionaire Kenneth Griffin, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Bernanke joins the hedge fund one year after stepping down as head of the central bank. He will advise the hedge fund on global economic and financial issues, and meet with international investors. Large hedge funds have reportedly made a habit of hiring former central bankers and other government officials. Last month, former Federal Reserve governor Jeremy Stein joined BlueMountain Capital as an adviser.
Bernanke said he was aware of any potential criticisms of the “revolving door” between Wall Street and Washington, and said he joined Citadel in part because it is unregulated by the Federal Reserve and because his role would not involve any lobbying.
Chicago-based Citadel was founded in 1990 and is one of the industry’s largest hedge funds. Bernanke said he will receive an annual undisclosed fee, but will not own a stake or receive performance-based bonuses from his role. He also said that the assignment is not exclusive and he would be free to take on other consulting positions.
Bernanke handed the top position at the Federal Reserve over to Janet Yellen last year, after an eight-year stint that was dominated by the 2008 financial crisis and the stubbornly slow growth that followed. He slashed interest rates to near zero and launched three bond purchasing campaigns to stimulate the flagging U.S. economy as part of the Fed's quantitative easing program.
Bernanke remains a full-time fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he recently launched a blog. "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," he wrote on March 30.
Correction: This article originally referred to Citadel as Citadel Investment Group. The error has now been corrected.