17:04 09 December 2013
Bob Diamond, the former Barclays boss who was ousted after a direct intervention by the Bank of England, is now returning to the City, floating a £150m fund for a new African banking business.
The financier, who became one of the most controversial bankers to emerge from the financial crisis, was once dubbed by Lord Mandelson as the “unacceptable face of banking.”
Diamond is now attempting to raise £153m fund on the London Stock Exchange within the next two weeks. He is going to work with Ashish Thakkar, an African entrepreneur and the chief executive of Mar Group. This is a conglomerate with "technology, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture" interests in 19 African countries.
Diamond has been very vocal about wanting to invest in Africa where his family foundation is active. Recently, he met with senior officials in Nigeria. This is where speculations that he is looking at the country’s troubled banks initially started.
Diamond’s return to the City is more likely to surprise many as his reputation has already been tarnished here. However, this move is thought to reflect London’s supposedly better ties with Africa compared to Wall Street’s.
Diamond, while being born in America and currently based in New York, has British citizenship.
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