The Rogue Trader & Keynote Speaker
Nick Leeson is known worldwide as the man who broke Barings Bank and is now a keynote speaker at conferences and events.
After making a great impression at the bank, Nick was appointed the manager of a new operation in futures markets on the Singapore Monetary Exchange (SIMEX) and was soon making millions for Barings by betting on the future direction of the Nikkei Index.
However, the bank wasn’t aware that it was exposed to any losses because Nick claimed that he was executing purchase orders on behalf of a client. What the company did not realise, is that it was responsible for the 88888 error account where Leeson hid all of his losses.
Nick Leeson managed to wipe out the 233-year-old Baring investment Bank. The $1.3 billion dollars of liabilities he had run up was more than the entire capital and reserves of the bank.
Eventually arrested in Frankfurt, Germany, Nick spent a few fraught months trying to escape extradition to Singapore. Within months, Nick was diagnosed as suffering from cancer of the colon.
Finally released in 1999, he was effectively homeless and without a job — but enjoyed a relatively hedonistic first year seeing friends and family but also continuing his cancer treatment.
Nick Leeson has proved his resilience and has been able to capitalise on his experiences. He was paid a substantial fee for the newspaper serialisation of his book in The Mail. The story was then turned into a film, Rogue Trader, starring Ewan McGregor. During 2001 he undertook a Psychology degree, and he now spends his time delivering conference and keynote talks to companies and making after-dinner speaking based on his life experiences.
In April 2005 he was appointed Commercial Manager of Galway United Football Club, rising to the position of General Manager in late November 2005. The same year Nick published his second book Back from the Brink, Coping with Stress co-written with psychologist Ivan Tyrell. July 2007 saw his appointed as CEO of the football club where he remained in this position until his resignation in February 2011.
Nick presentation is his personal story surrounding the collapse of Barings Bank. He speaks openly and candidly about the culture which existed at the time and the lack of accounting safeguards that ultimately led to the bank’s collapse. Key themes include:
• Compliance, Control, and Transparency
• Risk Management
• Corporate Responsibility and Governance
• Organisation and Company Culture
Nick Leeson also speaks about Stress, Wellbeing, and Mental Health in the Workplace.
“Nick Leeson was a brilliant, informative and engaging speaker at our recent conference. He effectively explained the importance of compliance, risk, and regulations through his fascinating story. We received great feedback from our audience on both the event and Nick himself, and he was undoubtedly a fantastic addition to our panel.”
— Equilibrium Asset Management LLP
“I lost count of the number of people who have told me how much they enjoyed your speech earlier this week at the Finance Leaders day at IBM Business Connect 2016. Your story is a fascinating one, and you make it very easy for your audience to imagine themselves in your shoes: there but for the grace of God goes many an unsuspecting person, I think. Your contribution to the day was even more powerful than I had expected and the audience were engaged in a way that I have rarely seen at similar events.”
“Our compliance day was extremely well received and having Nick as the external speaker really did add the buzz we wanted to the day. His presentation was great as expected and he covered the areas on our brief perfectly! His style of delivery was informative and humorous and plenty of questions at the end!”
— Diageo UK
“Nick was exceptional, and I will be honest a few from our membership were unsure why we were having him given his past. He blew the crowd away and it was only a shame there had not been more time for questions.”