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Rogue trader Leeson gets Irish partnership as financial adviser

Britain's Nick Leeson stands on the shore of Galway Bay in this April 21, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Paul McErlane/Files
Britain's Nick Leeson stands on the shore of Galway Bay in this April 21, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Paul McErlane/Files

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Nick Leeson, the former rogue trader who brought down Britain's oldest investment bank, has a new job as a partner in an Irish firm advising borrowers struggling to make loan repayments.

Leeson, whose $1.4-billion loss as a Singapore-based junior derivatives trader led to the 1995 collapse of Barings Bank, has joined GDP Partners, the company said in a statement on Monday.

"His experience and background will add significant value to what we are trying to achieve on behalf of our clients," GDP Partners said in the statement.

The Dublin-based company assists borrowers with non-performing debts of more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million).

"There might be wry smiles from people when they think of me walking into a bank to negotiation on their behalf," Leeson, 46, told Irish national broadcaster RTE on Monday.

"(But) there is a certain degree of empathy with what people are facing. It's daunting when people are facing something they don't understand."

After spending three-and-a-half years in a Singapore jail, Leeson wrote a book called "Rogue Trader" which was later made into a film with Ewan McGregor in the title role.

Leeson has lived in Ireland for a decade, during which time he acted as chief executive at Irish soccer club Galway United.

Since he arrived the Irish economy has unraveled under the weight of a massive property bubble and the country's banks are struggling to deal with a mountain of bad debt.

Leeson will advise clients on new bankruptcy laws and a new non-judicial system of settling secured and unsecured debts of up to 3 million euros. ($1 = 0.7679 euros)

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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