Vancouver (Toronto Star) —Canada’s new ambassador to China recently married the head of Asia Pacific operations for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset-management firm, raising concerns among former ambassadors and a democracy watchdog that Dominic Barton will encounter conflicts between his personal interests and public role.
The ambassador’s Sept. 4 appointment immediately drew questions from political commentators, who asked whether Barton — a veteran business leader whose posts included a seat on the advisory board for the state-run China Development Bank — is too connected to big corporations working in Asia to represent the full range of Canada’s interests. Others saw his business bona fides as strengths.
Barton married Geraldine Buckingham on Jan. 12, 2019 in Florida, according to public records in that state. Buckingham holds Australian citizenship and is qualified as a doctor in that country. As head of BlackRock’s Asia-Pacific operations, she is a key driver of the firm’s China investment strategy.
By Jeremy Nuttall and Joanna Chiu