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Nick Leeson

Nick Leeson was known as the “rogue trader” who broke Barings Bank. Today he is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers on the global speaking circuit. He shares his fascinating insight into the continuing failures of senior and middle management at large corporations around the world who still fail to adequately protect shareholders and customers. His after-dinner presentation shares his own personal story and account of the collapse.

Nick Leeson Galway, Ireland. Photo Credit :Andrew Downes

About Nick Leeson

Nick Leeson’s role in the collapse of Barings Bank remains one of the most spectacular debacles in modern financial history. Today he speaks regularly around the world to companies and organisations from all industries and corporate sectors. His after dinner covers several human-interest aspects which will astound any audience.


Nick Leeson, the young gambler who found himself sucked into a terrifying spiral of loss, was a working-class boy from Watford, north London. He lived out of his depth, high in an upper-class world, until his unchecked gambling caused the downfall of Barings Bank in 1995 and caused chaos in the Singaporean money market.

Sentenced to six and a half years for fraud, Nick spent four and a half of those incarcerated in a Triad gang-ridden Singaporean prison. He was locked up for 23 hours a day, most days, in 100+ degree heat. He was eventually released early on compassionate grounds, due to battling colon cancer, on July 3rd 1999 and extradited back to the UK. At that time his oncologist gave him a 60% chance of surviving another five years.

Luckily Nick survived and found himself much in demand as a speaker following the worst global recession on record and in the aftermath of the AIB trading scandal in New York, together with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Enron and Worldcom.

More recent cases such as Allied Irish Bank, Societe Generale (2008) and UBS (2011) simply highlight that loopholes haven’t been closed. In an exclusive interview for the BBC with Huw Edwards, Nick commented “I think rogue trading is probably a daily occurrence amongst the financial markets. Not enough focus goes on those risk management areas, those compliance areas, those settlement areas, that can ultimately save them money.”

Despite more audacious and larger scale incidents of rogue trading since the collapse of Barings, Nick Leeson remains the most infamous and high-profile rogue trader and one of the world’s most sought-after keynote speakers within the corporate sector.

The late Sir David Frost, who interviewed Nick whilst in the Frankfurt prison, optioned the rights to his story and in 1999 the Hollywood film “Rogue Trader” was released as a dramatisation of his story and starred Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Trainspotting) with Anna Friel (Marcella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pushing Daisies) portraying his wife at the time.

These events with Nick Leeson represent a unique opportunity for people to meet and question the main protagonist in the largest and most significant financial scandal of the 20th century and gain his personal insight into the current economy and the world today.

Nick’s clients include financial institutions, insurance companies, security firms, the IT sector and educational facilities including MBA business schools and universities.

Speech Topics
  • Risk Management
  • Corporate Responsibility & Governance
  • Compliance, Control and Transparency
  • Managing Change and Consolidation
  • Importance of Communication and Information Sharing
  • Knowledge is Nothing Without Understanding
  • Creating The Right Culture in The Organisation
  • Transparency Will Outlast Charisma – The ‘Celebrity’ Culture
  • Technology – Focus on Analysis and Correlation, Not Just Alerts
  • Information to Safeguard is Always there, it’s Just Whether or Not You Use it
Booking Information


"Nick Leeson gave one of the most interesting and thought-provoking talks of the weekend with his personal account."

Warwick Economics Summit 2011

"Nick completely turned around what we thought about him before the talk. Fascinating"


"We wanted a different approach to our Compliance training this year, which Nick Leeson provided. His session was highly thought provoking and Nick painted a stark picture of the devastating effects of failing to take the right approach to risk management and compliance. Challenging, stimulating – and entertaining. Many thanks."

NBC Universal

"Nick was thoroughly engaging. We had plenty of positive feedback at our Zone Convention about the session and the lessons that Nick drew from the events that unfolded in the 90s. His message on the critical importance of ethics and compliance was valued by the entire audience."

The Kraftz Heinz Company

"Nick was exceptional at our Risk forum and feedback from all those who attended was very positive and constructive. He did an excellent job of highlighting the importance of communication and internal structuring to ensure a robust, proactive, controlled and transparent risk management program prevailed and with his background experience, gave excellent examples of what can happen if the above is not achieved. A great hour with us and certainly one I hope we can repeat again in the future."

INTL FC Stone Ltd.

"Nick Leeson provided the keynote talk at our Risky Business Summit event in Dublin in February 2015. The feedback on Nick from our attendees was universally excellent. He covered key themes that included; risk, compliance, transparency and his perception on the world of regulation as it stands in 2015. Nick had obviously spent a good amount of time in preparing for the event and understood our solutions, the audience, the key themes we wanted to cover, and was eager to ask a number of questions that would allow him to optimise his involvement. I would definitely recommend Nick (and in fact already have!) without hesitation. Great job!"

Thomson Reuters

"We wanted a different approach to our Compliance training this year, which Nick Leeson provided. His session was highly thought provoking and Nick painted a stark picture of the devastating effects of failing to take the right approach to risk management and compliance. Challenging, stimulating – and entertaining. Many thanks."

NBC Universal

"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

"Nick Leeson was excellent on the day, very frank, open and honest and allowed for a substantial Q&A session which was very well received at the event. We would have no hesitation in recommending Nick to other organisations such as ourselves."

Irish Brokers Association

"Once again, I wanted to thank Nick Leeson for coming to speak at our Financial Services Away-Day. Speaking to my colleagues afterwards, they all enjoyed his very timely observations about the continued challenges of risk management at many leading financial institutions. Nick Leeson's talk also fitted in very well with our own internal discussions about how we can best help our clients in these times of economic uncertainty."

Director, McKinsey & Company

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