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50 People Who Matter 2010 | 37. Bob Diamond

Barclays' crown jewel.

A hugely successful banker, the American Bob Diamond was once described by Peter Mandelson as "the unacceptable face of banking".

Diamond has now been appointed chief executive of Barclays, a company more commonly associated with high-street banking than high-risk investment (his speciality). He has championed the idea of a "bailout" fund to ensure that banks never have to rely on taxpayer funds.

Yet it is difficult for people to take him seriously when they look at his salary (he took home £22m in 2006). Despite offering not to take a bonus for 2009, he cashed in £27m worth of shares in Barclays Global Investors last year.


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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter