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Pawlenty named head of bank lobbying firm

WASHINGTON — Former Minnesota Governor and presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is the new CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, a bank lobbying firm in Washington D.C., the group announced Thursday.

The Roundtable represents 100 banking, insurance and investment firms. The group lobbies against the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law Congress passed in 2010.

Pawlenty replaces outgoing CEO Steve Bartlett, who reportedly made $1.8 million in 2010. He begins on November 1.

 “[Pawlenty] understands that while policy makers sincerely desire to improve economic opportunities for all Americans, they also have different political philosophies,” the group’s chairman, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson said in a statement. “Tim knows this and is able to create win-win solutions to difficult issues. He 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.”

After ending his presidential bid in August 2011, Pawlenty joined several corporate boards and was a top surrogate for Mitt Romney’s campaign. He was a short-lister for the Republican vice presidential nomination, a spot that went to Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. He’ll now cut ties with the campaign to take the position at the Roundtable, the group said.

Update: A Pawlenty adviser tells the AP he’s also ruling out a run for office in 2014. Pawlenty had been considered a potential challenger to U.S. Sen. Al Franken. 

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com

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