Former Barclays CEO poised for a comeback in banking

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

London, England, United Kingdom (4E) – Bob Diamond, former chief executive officer at Barclays, is set for a return by raising $250mn from a London flotation of his new African banking venture.

Mr. Diamond is working with Mara Group’s Ashish Thakkar, the chief executive of the $1bn conglomerate that has business interests in 19 countries across the African continent.

The float is aimed to acquire a controlling portion of an African financial services business, and the vehicle will mark Mr. Diamond’s comeback after he resigned from Barclays when the scandal over interest rate rigging broke out in 2012. His background in banking could likely mean that Atlas Mara will buy into a bank.

Atlas Mara seeks to list its shares on the London Stock Exchange in about 10 to 15 days if the roadshow and the capital raising proceed as anticipated. The vehicle has yet to get any funds, though its supporters are expecting it will achieve the target of $250mn.

Both Mara, which has interests in several areas such as agriculture, manufacturing and technology, and merchant bank Atlas Merchant are expected to have stakes in the new cash shell. Mr Diamond founded New York-based Atlas Merchant after he left Barclays.

Mr. Diamond’s departure in Barclays in 2012 came after the bank was fined for its role in the manipulation of the Libor interbank lending rate.

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