Chairman, Barclays Bank, Germany
In September 1993, Rainer Stephan headed a list of what were dubbed "Big Game Hunters" in a Euromoney survey of frequent borrowers. His employers, Deutsche Bank, had lead-managed several notable deals - including sovereign issues from Norway, Belgium, Ireland and Italy. The mandates owed something to the fact that Deutsche's home currency was the darling of the markets - nine out of 11 of Deutsche's biggest deals had been in Deutschmarks. But a far from insignificant factor was the popularity of Stephan himself.
A charming, softly-spoken, thoughtful man, Stephan manages to combine informality with a reputation for being a man of his word.
Moreover he has, say his admirers, a wonderful sense of humour, and a friendliness that extends to entertaining both colleagues and clients at home.
One client from the early 1990s was René Karsenti, now head of the finance directorate of the European Investment Bank but then with World Bank. "He is a gentleman in the best senses of the word," says Karsenti. "An extremely pleasant person to work with, as well as being someone who can remain calm in the most turbulent markets."