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BACKFROMTHE

Nick Leeson was the city trader with the world at his feet.

Then

btew f860m and sank Barings Bank. A decade on

he has a newiob, but has he tearned the art of humitity?

WordsbyEamonnO'tleilt PhotographsbySimonMurplty


COVERSTORY

hree red-fac€d Inshnen

ed the Irish n€die udmtanlablv - went

mtoatsenz] aeah they all hmed uP md thev

all orked me Lhe sme que,lions he sals

d€ 'gnorine the hig-screen

Tv match doninatins the

-

hotel br od sawhng at a 0)dv lulLdoinstneiriob, L\ough I ddel

SEue in l,herridst inste,d The stud I lie jomabst! IIe !"dses 'Eat€

!;eary lrlo,clutchinsrh. n{k. or them ra.kins aees teldng my picLw thougn

then 6eer botdes like batons Dd

bddds oi tall sLook with guts There.re two l.mou5 idages .ssociated

uduc$stullyhdden undd loose Mtn Ireson In tie 6rst, he ! wwing a tellN

sbirrs, hawe recocnised Nick

Ixeson. He is lardlv jn.onspicuols

rd blacl 'etucall] ,bped bdingFck€t with

hscomour'! nme adings Balrl' - on the

The nm who c.ashed e ndk€r al bacl. Hi i; smilins, fiddlng witl a pen his

one end orwhar used to be c.!€d th€ iace red dd b.ming s he sits bv a rorv ot

Bntrsh Empir dd i.now rebdd_ cn.,-r994 !late-of the_trtred ina lemral5

Ee looks like a would_be "Mster of th€

sc his cueerut the o$er isn rvour average

' Univese", $e desdption nsedbyTon wor€

b;.$rde. H,mrteho$.loudoini he ers

in t'is ndel The Bontue oftle vmities, {hich

Nhenhe 5ee! me Evertd egoodv-"an?'

dedls witi ti€ hub.s ola N@ York trader

lL qas tei yeaF aeo lhallle plastereis lon

Yet the ohotoqriph Ie. The original iruge

tson wadod bbtzed hs wsY thJough the

@ntaineit$r ;Uscu6. relow hdes, who

hadins muLets in 5insaPoft, losme hb@ds

vere hdging ovshis sbould.r ln the veEion

olnillois otposds en roule rd then weft

@oDlekrN it v$ een used @ the @v€r oI

on Lhe M Lhrouel ErcPe, seruing ime bad

;n;djtion ofrreson s book, Roet nad*

in tI. Far East betore reLdMg Lo tne L^

he looks isolated, alo.e, bui he savs h€ Nas a

No\v 33 hehswshed uP wilh aneq*ile a

social dimal, ar leasl on ihe sudace. sdl

new I'Ie Md a neq job in Galtr e) jn the *ea

h€ .ever iold myone _ not even his th€n wiJa.

.rlrlMd. lut he stillsouds lile a IADA

Lisa - about his professional sins. tle neler

trained actor imDe6onabng what he Lhinls a

erclued to h{ ;r his ftiends the houble he

vorldng_clss bov done good drenbad,mjghi

somdLle his lvords, in low tones, !!poutor v; in: .ot dd it @ i@ lat€.

A nring srert A$ngs, Leeson had been

bs mouth rn a Lmhling 'inc{ong toiienl

aDlointed eenera manager or the oank s

Imtue rodnev Eon O'U Fooh ed Hoces

h;iftetrad;s subr,l,"" in s,nsapore rh.

De.6medbv &nn€t} lrMash se rmiles in

,enior nmaseB lru(led M, md ne voryeo

; tkeable vav s he ta]}s. dd E edY to be

w hour iaGrference fron Lo.don ltis

&ud, but tou set rhe f€ebe he En1 lating

nst*e, bsic.ly, vE b t,l'e too msv ritks

atenuon Fe s had enoud olthe nedia lor

tolblem ions ofp@ds ofthe banlt monev

$isweeLatle4t ud is a bit ted-up.

o. Ixsh dlk deal5 on tne Tor.ro stock ffikel

Witlour taving $aiL€d lor a rePlv to.his

Ee ;ered uD his lo$es by hiding then in a

neetinp he Is one €ve back on the rootN

sDdiallvcpatedeco@tnmbered88888 a

;d d;tnd on hisslackBerrvdigit,l orgM_

6re c;nqdeEd luckv in china

ker His anenrion wil be div€rted seaem] _when

m .aJrhqual€ lat the Iapdese .itv of

iines dlring our interview whic! sh€tches

(obe on loualy 17, 1995, Japmese snres

rcro$dsftemoon ttone pomi to.effpr€

vent i.to fteefall. leavinq keson in big

he q'I suddeily jum! to his feet wtrl ob

trouble, Despente to daw back m)ting he

toMrdsamdowddsund sbineour ot 't

corid, he took €ver mo.€ audacious nmddl

tugit mu d ne punchs aL-lus Blec'lBerr],

cdbles They faled On Febtuary 26,199s

his brM rs locused on m oter ora tucEbve

hedecded it qs tine io disapled Together

aneFdinneFspealuengagement

Eong

slh Lisa. he packed hi! ca'e dd leli hi'

Kons On one hdd iLsaI ! bil rude on the

sineaDore a@ilrrent before deM leading lb.

other, n e rnle hesbefchonest Reheshingly,

iL! nol aperfomMce - or a1 ledtnot d Mal-q;ia dll then Empe He lefrrrehind hin

r shortfall of e860m tbat $ourd caus. the

obvious one.

"l ve been doing Lh. medra d

couao,e oI the 23o_verold bor*, dd lhe lo$

w€ek. so ... he draNk lhe sentence is lett

deElin(in de etler'rten hetaMs dd rubs nfn;re thma$ousodiobs.

The otler fanous inaee shovs Leesod

bs 6€1he mesase k ob'io6

Ne&ina thoueh Frs*im Airporr folowine

Nearbr in t}e bar' enjoving Dnch.are

hjs arest. In that DichF he is weujng a g@n

r ccson s ns qife Leona, a sldlrug ddk_

,wea|shln md tbseb,I cap ttrned bacr_

haned lnsh be,utiod, Iis sbpdildr€n Alea

\dd5 t oka Ltde.loserddlou U*e what

6'. md t.n-vesold lqBtv, dd lhecouPles

sens to be a snirk or lns face

o\mcNd,eight montn{ld Mac}ensvf tron€

nade that nme d!, he eyswilx a shrug

They redehcltful Jnethin atanjgrklub

m !iar1o!d If,oE e*pltns Lee,on hinsetr

sils snendy in lis white Nike rminiig shoes'

laded d4ienq FM. Md lrght btu€

I?@n r,' Fn toD, roD His h@d hed s B shaved Dlo into a $f

"ln

sdbmea, 6ecu*la@d skull the

;nars I ve a very lad com!'ovei 'he c!ffa*

A i;. r'"e ner $e fdnni he susqesk wa nd'

i;; quiekr r@ of tie roklio raiL.

H.ad; Lms we wark throush the

sui t hal] A couPle ofbusine$nen

do double_tales Leeson ienores

BfrH.nq$$*;$f;",,"1#

ofi qucklr, satug ou chai h,d @uPd hm to

drive the Mons qay uP a one w,Y s@et r

Msastuqeqnpeforsomeone whohas-no

*""";tended taded oFbs nde ror

L rbe best pdt ot six yea6 since being

releard lrom Fil in SingaPote

wlrre he sened lhree dd a hd

' yeaB ofa six-yeai senren.e

While in piison h€ developed

, 6cer of the colon: he saYs he

is 'living with" co@r_at the

none , as oppded to bawg

Followi.g tris release fron

' rail tfeson be@e soFe

'The

Lhins of a &lebnq

I hds m goine to hav. to

I set @ed to ne goi4 to

| 0 rHs HERALo MicaziE r.ol G


'*l/

h.crus. in th. pa{ I onhrmnhcd lar a dqv

or soereryrnonlh lonrke nroner. hesats

\rith r rnilc. Thnl ndhl] vnnishnig rrr

nrlolved publi. sr*kine.. ilr..n.r dinne,

cn.uir: hcn S.dcuhr\' lopular wilh l.an

cjallnnsand lesal.ompnies. he srrs. rnd

c.n err. enoreh.roner l. one nishl to hn

hnn and hn larnil!3 m.nil IlGoltnin(lire

xtih.s.onringsr.nnsr.h. I\nrlrpmrnrlh.

Nrilesachequc r ll,e liarltLorn,.. ,\i

thc ncnrbn.frhis h. s.ril.s xlrin ]l.likp!

rh:rli.p. an.ls. d. rheNpLlhpeled !liier

'Peoplesopn o. oinrs c1ftig6 onrc tl,fr'rc

hcirdm. sp.!k. l]e sirvs

I .sL iihe dvc. fools u.cotr,liri!I,1. ri,onr

anr.ifn errlons nespp'ns u..rl.ii.s Ltl

\nv h. rvoul{l I gilchinr rhccxrmfle oirlre

nnm., g.re,n.renr mi.isre, ld Prorirnro.

NhoNas v,!shmcd of hisnrisd..dsvirhih.

c.]l-s l clvistiie kool.r hlc.nnjin,ndncLl

in rh. nlnr s.Rndxl rh:ihcdcloipd Lc lire

lo.hrity \!.k in lhc eiderd ofLond.n Iis

Rn.itr.m..\anr c olsclfn3qcllxii.n. lrrr

l-eeson s rea.tior shoul.l le rnrersrnrs \\,1ixr

docs hc thint ofthc old tu.hbncd noii.n of

beine ashmed 1or ptrrrli. siJr. ann ntiDn,s 1,r

ii lN.lr.npingou olf rLlic liler

''Incan. hc sa$ Conre on.I Nent tujnil

lsleashmedol\n,nrl,sdnl' H..i{h. l lr.

Ls hviich$ rnd h.n.rcs . rl,e !lp.drjo(

hotcl bver "j fl ror,Lrv ennJanls\c.t t.

er.nh,rlL!Fplies .nnvei,.g r qrsnb. il,xi

Th. rerliiy.ll eeson's advenlLr. \ [ hi\

emplareisu\h isihain. \'rs,.5ronsihle lirr

lle l$s ol r.200jin}:j{,lN h{ld hr ppople Nho

proLrblv n.r.r so mu.h xs rhorghr ih.nl

.o,nnitting. dishonest proli\sn,.rlr.t nr

Rarings n.n. \'as ere.rnalr sold lor n

noninallee oI91 l. x Drtlh ()mtanl. \'hn.h

reccntly {opt.d disflrrinr ii on rl,e JJonloJ

ns buildi.es Rrrmes. Nl,i.t drred Lnclt r)

liliJ. Las !ann|.d Lom r mr*.r n .n.e

Ir,

9i;

. hrs bool ttDAu. lrrJcr 1,..s.tr

dcR:.ib.s ho\r he ...!d.re{l .lon,s r

lteRqjs Pe..in . x r.Lr.... trrr1,.. i$,.

, sii.ouseres slar.nr{ Lrm.{l 11(r\ir., nl

Nhich th. i.ad.hrrr.r., i b' ri)r'+n,tro

dccid.s rh. prr ir .1 rL..e\! i!ir xll n s

..:.k.dnpro le.nd t'1,.s l,is,\rn (l.rrh l\

.lro\vnn)c In:005. rh{,r.m tl.rncr l-eiqi

]ts hcc.nre shorthdd lor ,b dnpl{n .. {'.\

ingupona..lo$xl scale |elor.eritn{hadiir

pursred Lr rhc aurh.riri.5 | peso. hrs

bp.ome hiso\)prn.blnre.Lur.l.n r thinLn,

li.lldsccondhc sn.iNxrc.nhn rler r\rd

he lTo\ls hec!. 5lrlluse lhe publiclFn,n oI

"I rhought.N iptoini.lenr Iirh Grhur

unircd \.uld h{ Jor a .lxr or hfo in llF rird\s

mdthc.lad.ori. lip srvs JDsrea.l h.l,x.t

the palies |dr. f.on nc.n.x 3ll Nee[ I

.r.,n.l cvpn h.n r CLr_v lronr Po.tusnmll.r.

rp lor e, inl.n nN i\'lr.nlr..ired .n \rrlr

p.,irgi ( (hal t tltrlt I \cn{ ih.r..f..l;'

n Loli.l!! ,\lthouen lr rs (lF i,crerlnirh

adnrnable al ldml,. h. .r,n b. ...r prph

lcig.inq thn.ro.lenl lI. Ino\. nx]rc rhrn

r.I..p li.\r l,n rin,s rillrt.sds rrr.nr,.n

'lhelFsNillrhvalsL.inrsrn.d,nhinl

.lre..Lthe!hldacnrialrol.nrn?rlnrsh rr

Hn lcgenn ls rirrtherenh..cen Lr s.ual

olh€r h.lo.s Sincs th.r. \'rs ,no,. rh:n I

$hifi oI mis.ranrgemenr rbout his b.${,s

acbons |llr.l'c rrnt k, i:nl ..rrnl Rrines -

Clo(kwise lrom main picture, Ni.k Leeson ar

FranktudAnpod f otlow nq his arr6i in 1t95;

rhe MaereroltheUnivorse' inhisslriped

rrad€r'sja(kel; Ewan Mccre9oras Leeson in

thefirh Rosue I.ader; LeesonsIndwile, Lisa

r& F rH!'.i^rorr.r' rf 11


COVERSTORY

> ex€cutiv€s were disciplined bv the llw.iar

authoritie, fcfailtgtostoplin his *orv h5

been adoDted as d emple ro.othet M

who msni onsidd bki,gprchisHindlv wirh'

out eminins thetr tfle sue noEleTnd{

- botJr the b@L dd dd lhe 1999 hln ol lJ'e

sme nmq slrrilg E{d Mccregor - kePt

hs 5Lorv in Lhe pubLic eve The epiogue

invoLtrl trs dF'rcing hm )ner reklatiom

n'rlced of his innde[tv wit] seEha girk

dded erh sDice to lhe vhoie a$enihis @cer

d'aenois sa;e rl back a humd dimension

N r-k tFso; s ljfe s a


ii:"."T*:S"""H:iif"iTt5.",+",*9'

,_",j*" *.1*, ,*l.i,, I shrted

l*,ni* bawling my

Tfti#',,Ti;1il;';iill*# eves oui. Alt

I nxl;"-P"';::l'J$s;'."; these chitdren

lHi*i""'.Tr;#.'y6';:*?:ixH:,1 are playing

H"1*,?i:fr:LT,'::;ifiJ#ipliTi around me and

iust moth€r shav€n-herde.l. sonewbat

;;,r,,-Jii i,;;;;;;e ;;:;,"'ii;Til:iil stvle theit - . .

mOtheIS

or srgnt.

ilf,f:ffttll";*:,l:f ;.rtrl i:r arc staring

"ffi ig"ii#fli:ilril]#.Bi.i and therc |

H:""ffi;il"-r# :il,*T.:L,inr,

am, weeping

il:i::; i,." :,1:::i:i: :i,:i::;'i::'"li about life'

noney I m aliord to lose. '

So, despite the fact he n bgendary for bringins

doM a barl thar had stood for nor tlo

tlvo centuies, be isnt bmed ftom rradine in

dy shate or fom? He lools stanled at the

sheer naivety of the questionj it! alnost 6 if

Ixs inrellsen@ hs ben usulred Hepr6er.

takes, deepbreath rd then l€rs ioM d.

sniUlg that roguis}ly chaming ed insterly

lileablesnileof his.'No.of colrse Innot

bmed," he sys. "Anyhow, I neo. cone on.

Th.s€ days no-one lctuaUy knows who's

behind o online hading lrdsactjon m}1vat

And withour even sroppins to pondel ha

hms to tle big s.€en bd url4 ihe line t]rar

vil punciuat€ tle nelt chapt€r ol the Nick

Ireson story: wllat's ihe score?" r

Contemporary

Bedroom

Specialists

New ltalian cottsctions are now on disolav

1000 Po(lokshars Road. in lene,

Sftadands, ctisqor

01116321r8(

252 Causes.yside,

ileeington, tdirtuqh

It1314660000

showrooms open 7 days

wwurebinsonsbeds.co.uk

o.e c ru rR^r Mrea N€ 13

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