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Blackstone hires NATO ex-commander as adviser

NEW YORK: Blackstone Group has hired Wesley Clark, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and a one-time US presidential candidate, to advise on its investments in energy companies.

Clark will serve on the board of Blackstone-owned Fisterra Energy, the New York-based private-equity firm said. Blackstone also hired Lars Thunell, the former chief executive officer of International Finance Corp, the financing unit of the World Bank, to join Fisterra’s board and advise Blackstone on its energy investments.

Private-equity firms hire high-ranking executives and former officials to expand relationships with corporations and governments worldwide, as well as to benefit from their industry experiences.

KKR & Co, the buyout company run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, hired former CIA director David Petraeus last month to run a new unit for public policy and economic research at the New York-based firm.

“General Clark’s experience and breadth of knowledge will be invaluable to both Fisterra and Blackstone, as we continue to invest in and construct power projects around the world,” said Sean Klimczak, a partner in Blackstone’s private-equity business who focuses on energy.

Clark, a retired four-star general and graduate of West Point and Oxford University, left the military in 2000. He ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for president in the 2004 elections.