Thigh slapper

Two banks, a conman and a homeless bloke

By Lucy Kellaway

Published: February 6 2011 19:36 | Last updated: February 6 2011 19:36

Last week, there were two stories in the papers about bankers being taken for a ride by conmen and nutters. Both tales were profoundly enjoyable: seeing investment bankers with egg on their faces is always cheering. They were also enjoyably profound, making one question what bankers get up to all day and which talents are needed to perform those tasks well.

The first story concerns a 49-year-old Brit who applied for a job as deputy chief executive of a City of London bank. His background appeared pukka: Oxford, Harvard and then 20 years at JPMorgan. During two interviews with headhunters and Ahli United Bank, Peter Gwinnell made all the right noises and was duly appointed.

After doing the job for a month, during which time he did what senior bankers do and took a lot of flights and attended a lot of meetings – someone ran some checks on him. They found he had never worked at JPMorgan. He had never studied at Oxford or Harvard. Instead, he was a conman who had been in prison and, after last week’s conviction for fraud, is now under the supervision of a probation officer and being treated for depression.

The interesting thing about this story –

[ FT ]

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