Banker To Get $95m - And Worth Every Cent

Bob Diamond

Barclays President Bob Diamond has bagged a $95m payday, and the 58-year-old American is worth every cent.

Forget all the predictable outrage, whipped up by the jealous, the lazy and those (like politicians) who jump at the chance to have a pop at someone else in order to distract the angry mob from their own shortcomings, and look at the facts.

Diamond received a base salary (plus a few perks) of around $581,000. In addition, some $23.6m of deferred compensation, awarded in 2005, is now vesting. He will also receive $40.5m in cash from the sale of his shares and options in BGI to BlackRock, and has been awarded some $30m in deferred comp which will vest in 3 years, should certain performance targets be hit.

So, some $53.6m of compensation is related to deferred pay deals, which governments around the world stand behind as a way to ensure that banker bonuses are tied to long-term performance. And $40.5m is the banker's reward for helping to build a business (BGI), which a rival thought well enough of to spend $13.5bn on to acquire.

And Barclays, remember, didn't take UK government assistance. Unlike many rivals around the world, the bank wasn't bailed out by taxpayers. That said, Diamond still declined a bonus for his work last year, the most profitable in the bank's history.

Another point to bear in mind before you criticise Diamond, is that he was the prime mover in the September 2008 deal that saw Lehman's US businesses come into the Barclays fold. Thousands of jobs were saved in the US because of Diamond's vision and entrepreneurial abilities, and this group of people have been instrumental in helping Barclays bring home the bacon ever since.

One banker told Here Is The City: 'Bob Diamond is an easy target for the critics - he is rich, American and works in a bank. But the UK needs more people like Diamond - people who create and distribute wealth, folks who generate much-needed tax revenues. I don't begrudge the likes of Diamond his millions, as he is a builder. It's the Tony Blairs of this world we should be after - he allegedly gets $15m-a-year, and aside from the mess we're currently in, I don't believe he's ever created anything in his life'.

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