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Uncovering the Diamond - a potted history of Bob

Bob Diamond is something of a Marmite figure. For those who can’t remember him, here’s a potted career history..
Uncovering the Diamond  - a potted history of Bob
Diamond almost followed his parents into education

He’s the man with the plan who has just rocked up at third-tier London investment bank, Panmure Gordon. Feted in the City (until his scandal-hit departure in 2012) and reviled by the left as the unacceptable face of banking, Bob Diamond is something of a Marmite figure. For those who can’t remember him (and there can’t be many) here’s a potted career history of the Chelsea-loving EastEnders fan. 

Robert Edward Diamond Jr

Age: 65

Lives: New York

Nationality: American with British citizenship  


The oldest of nine children, the 65-year-old grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, where both his parents were school teachers.


He took a degree in economics at the liberal arts focused Colby College in Maine, before completing his MBA at the University of Connecticut.

Work history

He almost followed in his parents into education, teaching briefly at the university’s business school before joining Morgan Stanley in 1979 as director of management information systems.

He exited the Wall Street bank as head of the fixed income division to join Credit Suisse First Boston in 1992, where he was responsible for trading operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

He began his career at Barclays in 1996 managing the corporate and investment banking and wealth management arm under Canadian boss Matt Barrett.

He missed out on the top job to John Varley in 2004, before finally snagging the position of chief executive in 2010.


According to the Daily Mail, that reliable source on fat cat pay, Diamond made £120mln in a five year stint to his exit in 2012.


An avid golfer and, unlike many American bankers who relocated to the City, he threw himself into London life. As a Chelsea season ticket holder and sponsor of the Premier League, the sports-obsessed Diamond was able to present the trophy to club captain John Terry three times between 2005 and 2012.

Private life

Married to Jennifer and has three children.

Career highlight

Snagging the assets of Lehman Brothers, one of the longest established American investment banks, for a cut price US$1.75bn in the wake of the financial crisis.

Career low

Carried the can for the Libor interest rate rigging scandal that cost Barclays £370mln in fines here in the UK and in the US.

Little known fact

At Barclays Capital, Diamond had his “no jerks” rule. This said that anyone who rocked the boat, fell out with colleagues or embarrassed the bank in any way was cut loose without hesitation. When it emerged that a rowdy group of BarCap investment bankers had lavished £44,000 on a meal at the St James’s restaurant Petrus to celebrate a deal, they were sacrificed.

What his colleagues say

One anonymous source quoted in the Evening Standard newspaper said this: “I hesitate to make the comparison with Don Corleone but he was very good at making sure that people did what he wanted without explicitly saying so.

“These messages would be passed on: ‘Bob is very disappointed’ or ‘Bob doesn’t want that to happen’. You never got them from Bob himself, you always got them from one step down. Bob could be very charming, he tends to leave the bad news delivery to side-kicks.”

Least likely to say

Capitalism sucks


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