Rogue trader Nick Leeson is to advise Irish investors struggling with bank debts after taking up a new post.
GDP Partnership, which is headquartered in Belfast, said yesterday that Leeson – famed for his role in the collapse of Barings Bank – was joining the firm as a principal of its new Dublin office.
It said Leeson, who has lived in Ireland for more than ten years, had witnessed the “boom and subsequent gloom” that has engulfed the country.
Ireland is struggling for economic growth amid a down-sizing and de-leveraging of its banking sector. A residential property crash has seen house prices tumble and repossessions are set to soar.
Leeson said he was “delighted to be joining an expanding, already successful practice”.
He added: “I’ve faced into a number of difficult situations in the past and ultimately seen them turn for the better. It is often difficult to see the solution, but – rest assured – there is always one available.”
As a derivatives broker at Barings, Leeson amassed huge losses before his arrest in 1995. While in prison, in Singapore, he wrote an autobiography, Rogue Trader, detailing his acts.
Leeson will be joining the new “mediation and solutions” practice with Conor Devine, a chartered surveyor, and James Gibbons, GDP added.
Devine said: “We have seen a shift in the attitudes of some of the banks in [Northern Ireland] in the past 12 months and we are engaged with them all on behalf of clients to try and arrive at a solution to this chronic debt problem.”