Nick Leeson is the man who broke the bank at Barings, that venerable 233-year old British financial institution which went west in 1995. His trading activities created a $1.3bn hole in the bank's balance sheet and the former trader eventually did time in a Singapore prison for his misdeeds. Now, over 8 years after the collapse of Barings, Leeson is said to want to get back into a proper job.
Since returning to the UK, Leeson has written a successful book, 'Rogue Trader', and was a popular item on the after-dinner lecture circuit for a while. He has now told the Financial Times that he wants to get back into 'mainstream' employment and would ideally like to do 'something in business'.
Until an £100m injuction is lifted, which hopefully will be before too long, half of anything Leeson earns goes to the Barings liquidators. Clearly in need of funds to survive, it is difficult to see what he can now turn his hand to. Leeson admits that he has been offered plenty of unsuitable roles, but is willing to branch out and change direction if it means finding the kind of role he seeks.
Unfortunately his activities at Barings and the way he comes over in his book and the subsequent film, will work against him. A likeable guy who seems to have got in over his head at Barings, Leeson will find it hard to get back in the 'mainstream'. If all else fails, he could perhaps spend 44 foodless days and nights in a glass cage atop the Docklands home of regulator the Financial Services Authority. Seems a popular, if unconventional , way to make money these days.
We do, however, wish him well. Leeson currently lives in Ireland with his second wife, Leona.