Bob Diamond: Architect of Barclays Capital
As part of Euromoney's 50th anniversary coverage, we profile some of the biggest names that we interviewed for our April capital markets focus.
Bob Diamond first came to Wall Street as a technologist in 1979. He had been working in the IT department at US Surgical, a medical company, when his boss was recruited to build the new systems Morgan Stanley needed to compete against scrappier firms using their trading smarts to win client mandates.
“Salomon Brothers had won its first lead manager role for IBM, and that was a shot across the bows of the established firms,” Diamond recalls.
These had good client relationships, but they were not powerhouses. “Morgan Stanley had maybe $25 million in capital and employed roughly 1,000 people,” Diamond says.
For over two years, he worked in the back office, becoming fascinated by the business of Wall Street. “I asked my new bosses if they could give me a trading job after we had completed our IT work – and the good news was that they kept their promise,” he laughs.