The big one: Bob Diamond poaches Barclays banker for African project

Barclays' former chief executive, Bob Diamond, has brazenly poached a former senior colleague to become chief executive of his new African banking venture, Atlas Mara.

John Vitalo, who is currently chief executive of Barclays Middle East and North Africa and based in the United Arab Emirates, will join Atlas Mara once his departure terms have been agreed.

Mr Vitalo, a former US marine, joined Barclays' investment banking arm, Barclays Capital, in 2002 when it was run by Mr Diamond. The two worked closely together setting up Absa Capital at Barclays' South African bank subsidiary.

Mr Diamond said: "I am delighted that John has agreed to become Atlas Mara's chief executive officer.

"I have worked with him over many years. He is a business builder, deeply knowledgeable in the critical areas of technology and risk, and he is trusted by his colleagues and clients. I couldn't imagine a better leader for this group."

Barclays has declined to comment on Mr Vitalo's poaching.

It came just a day after the bank settled a long-standing court case based on the Libor scandal, which could have seen Mr Diamond and other former senior executives called to give evidence.

Barclays reached an out-of-court settlement, restructuring a £70m interest-rate swap it had arranged for Guardian Care Homes, which claimed the bank had known about Libor rigging at the time.

Atlas also said that it had signed a deal to take over the commercial arm of the Development Bank of Rwanda, on the 20th anniversary of the genocide there. Mr Diamond's co-founder, Ashish Thakkar, was a refugee from the genocide.

Messrs Diamond and Thakkar put $20m (£11.9m) into Atlas and raised a further $305m through a placing on the London stock market in December.

Last week it paid $265m for BancABC, which has businesses in a number of Sub-Saharan countries, including Botswana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Atlas shares have been suspended until the acquisition is completed.

Mr Diamond's new bank has said it wants to become Africa's leading financial services firm by providing capital, liquidity and funding to banks in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is expected to grow faster than the rest of the world in coming years.

Only about one in four Sub-Saharan Africans have bank accounts at the moment, making the region a target for banks such as Barclays, and Standard Chartered as well.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence