LONDON (Reuters) - Former British prime minister David Cameron, who stepped down abruptly last year after failing to convince British voters to remain in the EU, has been appointed to his first high profile commercial role.
Cameron will take on an advisory post with the U.S.-based First Data Corp., which handles credit- and debit-card transactions for around 6 million merchants worldwide, the company said in a statement on Friday.
In this role, Cameron will focus on consolidating First Data's base in its key markets as well as promoting the company's expansion into new regions of the world, the statement said.
"The payments industry is evolving rapidly in this era of dramatic change, and as we work to strengthen and grow our presence in key markets, David Cameron's experience and advice will be invaluable, First Data CEO and chairman Frank Bisignano said.
Cameron's appointment comes amid a recent swirl of merger activity in the industry, including U.S. credit card processor Vantiv's acquisition of top UK payment company WorldPay in a $10 billion deal.
It also coincides with a time of deep uncertainty in financial markets over the outcome of Britain's decision to exit the European Union, a subject matter in which Cameron is particularly well-versed.
The British political scene remains volatile, with his successor Theresa May trying to face down a rebellion by some of her own lawmakers seeking to oust her.
Since leaving office soon after the June 2016 Brexit vote, Cameron has held a number of unpaid, voluntary posts, including presidency of the charity Alzheimer's UK. More lucrative work has come through speaking engagements at a bureau that also represents former prime minister Tony Blair.
In taking on this commercial role, Cameron follows in the footsteps of many high-profile British political figures. Former prime minister Gordon Brown joined the investment manager PIMCO after he left office, whilst his predecessor Tony Blair opted for JP Morgan.
However, something of a record is held by former finance minister and key Cameron ally George Osborne, whose new job as editor of the Evening Standard newspaper brought his total number of jobs, held simultaneously, to six. The list included a highly paid part-time posting at asset manager BlackRock.
First Data declined to comment on whether Cameron's advisory role would be paid.
(Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Toby Chopra)