Rogue trader Leeson joins distressed debt advisor

Ex-rogue trader Nick Leeson, who caused Barings Bank to collapse after completing £827 million of unauthorised trades, has been appointed as a principal at distressed debt advisory firm GDP. 

In what some may regard as an unlikely move, infamous trader Nick Leeson, best known for losing £827 million ($1.4 billion) on unauthorised trades whilst working for Barings Bank in Singapore in the 1990s, has joined a debt advisory group. 

Irish distressed debt advisory GDP Partnership has appointed Leeson, who left prison in 1999, as a principal in its Dublin-based mediation and solutions practice, the firm said in a statement.

The firm has not sought to downplay his chequered background, commenting: “Nick Leeson, famed for his role in the collapse of Barings Bank… will be joining the practice … his experience and background will add significant value to what we are trying to achieve on behalf of our clients.”

Leeson served almost half his 6.5 year sentence for fraud before his release in 1999 having been diagnosed with cancer, from which he subsequently recovered. Since then, he is understood to have been living in Ireland with his second wife, and reportedly worked as commercial manager for an Irish football club.

In his new role, he will advise clients grappling with debts of more than €1 million, and will mediate on behalf of distressed borrowers in an attempt to renegotiate deals with Ireland’s banks.  

He will work alongside Conor Devine, a chartered surveyor and founding partner of GDP, and James Gibbons, a principal at the firm, in a three-way partnership, with the support of the property, accountancy, legal and banking teams at the firm.