Nicholas “Nick” Leeson is a former derivatives broker whose fraudulent, unauthorised speculative trading caused the spectacular collapse of Barings Bank, the United Kingdom’s oldest investment bank, for which he was sentenced to prison.
Few stories have dominated the world’s headlines quite like the collapse of Barings. Trusted with the finances of royalty and aristocracy for two hundred years, the bank was brought down by the covert trading activities of just one man, leaving behind losses of £860 million. Forever dubbed the ‘Rogue Trader’, Leeson’s own account of his rise and fall is both candid and compelling. He took some of the greatest gambles of all time and found himself sucked into a terrifying spiral of loss that rocked the City to its foundations and threatened to destroy his life.
Nick Leeson came from humble beginnings in Watford and worked his way to the heart of a cut-and-thrust empire: the SIMEX money market. After his spectacular fall from grace Nick spent four and a half years in a Singapore jail, contracting cancer of the colon and seeing the end of his marriage.
His speech reveals the pressures, the series of errors and the amazing chain of events that make the true story as crisp as any thriller. It also demonstrates the risks to which financial institutions in particular can still be exposed. As part of his presentation Nick is prepared to answer questions on any aspect of his experiences. After completing a psychology degree, Nick Leeson became CEO of Galway United Football Club. He still makes some reparation to Barings from his earnings.
Despite more audacious and larger scale incidents of rogue trading since the collapse of Barings in 1995, Nick Leeson remains the most infamous rogue trader and one of the world’s most sought-after speakers within the financial sector. Curiosity, intrigue and sympathy have been the various reactions to this man’s incredible life story. The collapse of Barings and Nick Leeson’s role in it is one of the most spectacular debacles in modern financial history.
After Dinner Speaking
Nick Leeson’s story has a number of human interest aspects that will astound any audience so his talks are not restricted to the world of suits and power lunches that he used to frequent. Nick talks frankly about what happened with Barings, the lack of accounting safeguards, his capture and confinement for 9 months in a Frankfurt prison and being sentenced to 6 years by the Singapore court for forgery and cheating.
Conference Speaking and Consultancy
More recent cases such as Allied Irish Bank, the National Australia Bank scandal, Societe Generale and UBS in 2011 simply highlight that loopholes haven’t been closed. Nick Leeson is expertly placed to provide consultancy on risk management, compliance and corporate responsibility.
“Rogue trading is probably a daily occurrence amongst the financial markets. Not enough focus goes on those risk management areas, those compliance areas, those settlement areas, that can ultimately save them money.”
Nick speaks to financial institutions, banks and businesses around the world. He also addresses universities and has spoken at the Oxford Union, Trinity College Dublin, Warwick University and the University College Cork. Conference speeches can be tailored to your specific requirements.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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