Jeremy Warner: A war of would-be rain makers

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The Independent Online

Outlook One mischievous piece of gossip doing the rounds of the Davos conference centre is that Amanda Staveley has fallen out of favour in the court of the Qatari royal family for the publicity she attracted in helping to arrange the Barclays recapitalisation.

They may be unhappy about last week's "open" letter to Middle Eastern investors drawing their attention to the protections that were built into the £7bn capital injection in order to prevent dilution should Barclays eventually need even more capital.

This was leaked to the British press. "We needed no reminding of this clause," said one source, "since we negotiated it".

The source went on to hint that both the Qataris and their co-Middle Eastern investors in Abu Dhabi were uncomfortable with the high-profile that Ms Staveley has adopted over the capital raising. They preferadvisers to remain private.

Even if her relationship had been compromised, she would scarcely need to worry. The one-woman power broker is said to havealready banked a £40m fee on the transaction.

In any case, she's got lots ofcompetition out here. The place is alive with me-too rain makers trying to persuade the sovereign wealth funds of the Middle East – these days seemingly the only people withmoney to invest – to come to the rescue of the corporate and financial West. And they said investment banking was dead.

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