Rich Ricci's Fat Cat in the Hat Makes it Hard for Barclays' Message to Stick

Horse Racing

In investment banking circles, this is what qualifies as a joke.

Famed for his Cheltenham get-up of green three-piece suit and trilby hat, Barclays' fabulously rich Rich Ricci has named one of his racehorses Fat cat in the hat. Ho, ho.

Ricci scores well for chutzpa. The trouble is, that quality was not on the list of virtues that pure-in-heart Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has chosen to adopt. The bank instead opted for dull-but-worthy lines about respect, integrity, service and so on. But it's a lot harder to make those messages stick when the Daily Mirror is giving Ricci the front-page treatment and reminding its readers of the £100m he's made at Barclays. Jenkins will surely be praying that Fat cat in the hat (fourth favourite for Wednesday'sFred Winter Juvenile Hurdle) gets nowhere near the winner's enclosure.

The personal relationship between Ricci, one of Bob Diamond's right-hand men during the go-go years of mega bonuses at Barclays, and Jenkins is said to be good.

Thus only a cynic would read anything into the fact that Ricci, unusually, will not be attending Cheltenham this year despite having as many as 11 runners at the festival. Client meetings, apparently.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Nils Pratley, for The Guardian on Monday 11th March 2013 19.35 Europe/London

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