NICK LEESON, the rogue trader who infamously racked up £827 million of trading losses at Barings Bank in the 1990s, has a new job – as an insolvency practitioner.
Since being released from prison in Singapore, Leeson has spent 13 years on the after-dinner speaking circuit. The Dublin-based former banker is now joining restructuring specialists GDP Partnership as a partner, to advise those in debt to Ireland's banks.
The company unveiled their new employee as the man "famed for his role in the collapse of Barings Bank", saying Leeson's "experience dealing with financial challenges will be an invaluable asset" to their business.
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Barings was the City's oldest merchant bank, with clients including the Queen, until the 233-year-old lender collapsed under the weight of Leeson's losses in 1995. The trader, who worked in the company's Singapore division, was ordered to serve six-and-a-half years in prison for his toxic investments.
Eighteen years on and after his story was turned into a film starring Ewan McGregor, Rogue Trader, Leeson is back in the business world.
He tells the Irish Independent his experience will help him mediate on behalf of borrowers who owe more than £850,000.
"I've faced difficulties and adversity in my past," he says, "and I've worked my way through it. The longer you sit in the dark and don't deal with a situation, the more difficult it becomes." He added: "Banks in Ireland were part of the problem by lending recklessly and now they have to be part of the solution."
Since the financial crisis, Ireland has injected €80 billion into its banks and nationalised or part-nationalised six lenders.
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