Barings boss offered new job

Andrew Tuckey, deputy chairman of Barings when it crashed last year, is being asked to head up the investment banking arm of Credit Lyonnais.

Jean Peyrelavade, chairman of the French bank and a close friend of Tuckey, is keen to hire the corporate financier to spearhead Credit Lyonnais Capital Markets's expansion in London.

It is unclear whether Tuckey is willing to take the job - he was not available for comment yesterday - and it is also unclear how his banking peers would regard the move if he did. Mr Tuckey was the only senior Barings executive to escape censure by the regulators when the bank collapsed with pounds 830m losses due to Nick Leeson's unauthorised trading.

He is also the only top Barings executive who has not been banned from taking another job in the City. One former colleague said yesterday: "It might be better for Barings if he left," adding that the bank wanted to put the whole Leeson episode behind it.

Mr Tuckey, who now works as a consultant to ING Barings, still has his fans inside the bank and out. Brian Pitman, the chairman of Lloyds TSB, was keen for him to advise on the acquisition of TSB last year, as he had done on the Cheltenham & Gloucester bid before.

Mr Peyrelavade has been credited with hauling Credit Lyonnais back from the brink since the French bank made pounds 1.45bn losses two years ago, due in part to a business venture in Hollywood that went sour. French taxpayers were forced to bail out the bank in a pounds 17bn refinancing. Now the chairman wants to beef up the bank's corporate finance arm.

Credit Lyonnais bought the British stockbroker Alexander Laing & Cruickshank during Big Bang in the 1980s, and it also owns a substantial fund management business. But it lacks clout in corporate finance, and Mr Peyrelavade believes Mr Tuckey's contacts and flair are the answer.

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