Bob Diamond’s empire building, when investment banks’ interns rebel

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Bob Diamond

Bob Diamond has been keeping his head down since leaving his role as CEO of Barclays in2012 and watched as his investment banking legacy has been slowly torn apart by his successors.

Now, there’s reason to believe that former bond trader Diamond is quietly building in the very areas where large investment banks are pulling back from. Through his fund Atlas Merchant Capital, he’s just bought a stake in a New York repo trading firm called South Street Securities.

Not such a big deal, you might think, but the suggestion is that Diamond is eyeing up stakes in other trading businesses, some of which may even be sold by large investment banks. This is all part of Diamond’s plan to inch back into the banking business, suggests the Sunday Times.

“There’s a huge amount of businesses that are available, and yet the strategic investors of the last 20 and 30 years have been the big global banks and they are off the stage — in fact, they are the sellers,” Diamond said last year.

Separately, in a post on Pulse, a former investment banking intern has relayed a tale of how she rebelled against an instance of nepotism combined with bribery.

Admittedly, this was in South Korea, but Sophia Somyung Lee – who now runs her own firm – says that during a quiet period at the bank, her MD was offered some business from a client in return for getting his son an internship at the bank.

Unfortunately, not only was the son required by HR to actually apply for a role, but they also lacked the knowledge to get through an internal test all interns must pass. So, the MD asked Sophia to take it on the behalf of the client's son.

After days of stress, angst and regurgitated dinners, she eventually said no, something the MD reluctantly accepted. While the MD didn’t go so far as to actually fire her, he made her life difficult for the remainder of the internship and, suffice to say, she doesn’t work in banking now.

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Quote of the Day:

The real world, I find it quite odd. It’s taken me a while to adapt, that’s for sure,” hedge fund manager retires at 45.

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