James “Jim” O'Neill was named commercial secretary to the treasury in the new U.K. government.
Mr. O'Neill was chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management until he retired in 2013.
The position was announced by U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, in his first speech since the Conservative Party's general election win last week.
“He's one of the world's top economists,” Mr. Osborne said, according to a speech published on the Treasury's website. “And he's the man who invented the term 'the BRICs' (for Brazil, Russia, India and China) and changed the way everyone viewed emerging economies.”
Mr. Osborne said Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Mr. O'Neill to the role, “right in the heart of government,” and that he will “work to deliver the big infrastructure investments and links to emerging economies our country needs.” He will also be tasked with seeing through the devolution of cities — the granting of more power to large cities in England.
A spokeswoman for the Treasury said Mr. Osborne's responsibilities will be announced soon.