Who Will Succeed Hester As RBS CEO ?

Gordon Brown

Following Stephen Hester's shock departure from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), bookmaker Ladbrokes has published odds on who could be the part-nationalized bank's new chief executive.

Ladbrokes favorite to win is Nathan Bostock, with odds of 1-2. Bostock's current role as RBS Head of Restructuring and Risk could help him steer the bank's next round of restructuring, which Reuters reported will result in 2,000 job cuts.

With odds of 4-1, Richard Meddings, the group finance director of Standard Chartered, is second favorite to win out of Ladbrokes's 19 candidates.

Less likely candidates include Rich Ricci , at odds of 100-1. Ricci, the former head of Barclay's investment bank, was a key lieutenant to Bob Diamond , and left Barclay's speculation that he would be ousted in a crack-down on excessive executive pay. Ladbrokes puts odds of 250-1 on Diamond himself taking over RBS.

Ladbrokes reserved its weakest odds of 1,000-1 for Gordon Brown, the former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister who lost power at the last national election.

Other long-shot candidates include Hester's disgraced predecessor, Fred Goodwin , and Mervyn King , the newly retired head of the Bank of England.

Hester's departure after five years at the helm is said to be by "mutual agreement", but the move has rattled shareholders. Hester has been credited with restructuring the bank and shrinking its balance sheet after the 2008 financial crisis.

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