Diamond unveiled as Barclays chief executive

Diamond unveiled as Barclays chief executive

Multi-millionaire banker Bob Diamond has been named today as the next chief executive of banking group Barclays.

Mr Diamond, who is estimated to be worth £95m (€114m), will take over from John Varley after the incumbent steps down next year, the Press Association understands.

The 59-year-old American’s appointment is part of an unexpected shake up at the top of Barclays.

Mr Diamond, one of the world’s highest paid bankers, joined the group in 1996. He did serve as Barclays’ president and chief executive of Barclays Capital, the firm’s investment arm.

Married with three children, the businessman is a keen sports fan, with Chelsea sharing his affection alongside native Boston baseball and basketball teams, the Red Sox and Celtics.

Mr Diamond is also an advisor to Boris Johnson and currently sits as a trustee to the Mayor’s Fund for London.

But it was suggested that his appointment could be seen as controversial among members of the Coalition.

It was suggested that his lack of experience in traditional high street banking will be at odds with the Government’s aims.

It comes at a time when ministers are urging Britain’s banking sector to open up lending to small businesses in a bid to aid the economic recovery.

Mr Diamond’s wealth may also raise a few eyebrows.

The Times Rich list estimates that he sits on a personal fortune worth around £95m (€114m). He is thought to have made £11.6bn (€13.9bn) last year despite waiving a pay rise.

He will replace Mr Varley after he steps down next March after a seven-year stint as chief executive, it is understood.

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