Business, Economics and Jobs

Tim Pawlenty, Romney campaign co-chair, quits to take lobbying job


Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty waves as takes the stage during the third day of the Republican National Convention. He is stepping down from his role as co-chair of Romney's campaign to be CEO of a major financial lobbying group.


Mark Wilson

Tim Pawlenty, Romney's campaign co-chairman and the former governor of Minnesota, is stepping down from his post to become the CEO of a powerful Wall Street Lobbying group. 

Pawlenty will replace long-time CEO Steve Bartlett as the head of Financial Services Roundtable, the group announced Thursday, which Ivan Adler, a principal at The McCormick Group, called "the sexiest CEO job" in the industry.  

Pawlenty "is exactly the kind of leader we need to continue to improve our industry’s reputation, advocate firm-but-fair regulation and help maintain our global leadership of the financial markets," said Tom Wilson, CEO of The Allstate Corp. and chairman of The Roundtable, Politico reported

"He’s brought energy, intelligence and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he’s ever been engaged, and that certainly includes my presidential campaign," Romney said in a statement. "While I regret he cannot continue as co-chair of my campaign, his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country."

The former governor was almost the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008, and was also one of the top options for Romney's VP slot, the Hill reported.  

After racking up $435,000 in debt from his attempt at the presidency, Pawlenty joined the Romney campaign. The former Bain CEO helped pay off the debt, the Boston Globe reported

More from GlobalPost: Romney campaign $11M in debt

The Financial Services Roundtable group, one of several organizations lobbying financial regulators as they seek to put 2010's Wall Street reform law in place, represents about 100 major banking, insurance and investment companies with a total of $92.7 trillion in assets, according to the Boston Globe. 

In his statement about the job, Pawlenty called Romney "a truly great man and a great leader" who has his "full support." 

"I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenges that lay ahead for the financial services industry and the opportunity to lead the dialogue and the discussion on behalf of the Roundtable," Pawlenty said, according to Politico.

"The best way that this industry can continue to restore its reputation is to have its members do responsible investing into businesses and communities in a way that yields positive economic results and economic growth," he added. 

More from GlobalPost: Tim Pawlenty quits US presidential race