Declared lobbyists: 2.75 FTE
Lobby spend: 1.25m – €1.5m (2016)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the corporate and investment banking division of Bank of America. Within a few months of leaving her job as Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes became a paid adviser to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and after 18 months, she took up other roles at data firm Salesforce and tax-dodging taxi-hailing company Uber.
These moves by ex-Commissioner Kroes exemplify why the Commission’s ban on moving into a related private sector job within 18 months of leaving public office is not sufficient. Kroes was quoted in the Wall Street Journal when she was first appointed to the Commission in 2004, saying she “promised to never engage in business activities once her five-year commission term ends”.