Robert Edward Diamond Jnr (b 1951) joined Barclays at a formative moment in its modern history, following the sale of BZW’s equities division and reorganization of the remainder as Barclays Capital. In the next fifteen years he was largely responsible for making Barclays Capital one of the world’s leading investment banks.
Born in Massachusetts, he was educated at Colby College, Maine, and took an MBA from the University of Connecticut, where he was ranked first in class, following which he taught at the University’s School of Business. In 1979 he joined Morgan Stanley as director of Management Information Systems, and his career there culminated as managing director and head of European/Asian Fixed Income Trading for Morgan Stanley International. In 1992 he joined Credit Suisse First Boston in Tokyo, as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of CS First Boston Pacific, responsible for investment banking, equity, fixed income and foreign exchange for the Pacific region. He was subsequently appointed as vice-chairman and head of global fixed income and foreign exchange, a member of the executive board and operating committee, of Credit Suisse Financial Products, based in New York.
His Barclays career began in 1996 as BZW’s head of Global Markets. In 1997, he was appointed as chief executive of Barclays Capital, and thus joined Barclays’ group executive committee. In 2002, he was also appointed chairman of Barclays Global Investors, the fund management business. In 2005 he was elected to the main board and given the title of President of Barclays PLC. By this time, the investment banking and investment management businesses comprised Barclays Capital, Barclays Global Investors and Barclays Wealth Management, being responsible for Barclays’ wholesale and institutional activities globally. In the 2000s he was mandated to expand the group's market leading investment banking and investment management business worldwide, as a central part of Barclays’ strategy.
Bob Diamond steered Barclays Capital through the financial crisis of 2007-2010, and was instrumental in the acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ North American business. He succeeded John Varley as Group Chief Executive at the start of 2011, but resigned on 3 July 2012 following the disclosure of involvement by Barclays employees in the Libor cartel. In 2013 he co-founded a new financial services holding company called Atlas Mara, aimed at acquiring and managing banks in Africa.
He was named as European Banker of the Year at the Financial News Awards for Investment Excellence in European Investment Banking in 2004, and was ranked 37th in the New Statesman annual survey of the World's 50 People Who Matter in 2010.
External appointments included membership of the advisory board of the Judge Institute at Cambridge University, co-chair of the Capital Campaign at the Royal College of Music, London, and trustee of the American School in London and of Colby College.