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Tim Pawlenty to Head Financial Lobbying Group

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tim Pawlenty, a Mitt Romney surrogate, is leaving the campaign to lead a lobbying group that represents some of the largest banks in the United States.

The Financial Services Roundtable named Pawlenty on Thursday its CEO, starting Nov. 1. The organization, based in Washington, represents Bank of America (BAC - Get Report), JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report), Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) and Citigroup (C - Get Report), among other financial services companies.

"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," wrote Tom Wilson, Allstate (ALL) CEO and chairman of Financial Services Roundtable, in a statement.

The move would put Pawlenty in charge of an organization that spent $7.7 million on lobbying in 2011, and has expended $4.5 million in 2012, according to data by opensecrets.org. The firm also has contributed some $401,000 to politicians for this election. The biggest recipients have included House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.), and House Finance Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.) at $10,000 apiece.

Romney wished the former Minnesota governor success as he departed from the Republican presidential nominee's campaign.

"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," Romney wrote in a statement.

Pawlenty's resume is thin on experience in the financial services sector as he received a law degree, worked for law firm Rider, Bennett, Egan and Arundel, and became an elected official when he was 28 years old.

Wilson said Pawlenty's years as a successful governor proved his experience to create an environment for economic growth and job creation.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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