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Key, Sir John Phillip

Key, Sir John Phillip, 1961–, New Zealand investment banker and political leader, b. Auckland, studied Univ. of Canterbury (B.Comm., 1982) and Harvard. Trained as an accountant, Key worked for a large American investment bank. Posted in Singapore, London, and Sydney, he became an extremely successful currency and bond trader. A member of the center-right National party, he returned home (2001) to begin a political career and was first elected to parliament in 2002. In 2004 he was named his party's financial spokesman and in 2006 party leader. A centrist and free-trade advocate who did much to reinvigorate his party and improve relations with the United States, he became prime minister when the National party won a plurality in the 2008 elections; he again led the party to wins in 2011 and in 2014. He stepped down as prime minister and party leader in 2016. Key was knighted in 2017.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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