Bob Diamond, former boss of Barclays Bank has never been one to shy away from risk.
The former Barclays boss, who quit the bank during the Libor scandal, spends much of his time now at Atlas Mara, a London stock market vehicle he launched to invest in African financial companies.
Atlas has done a few deals in fast-growing parts of the continent, snapping up banks in places like Rwanda and Nigeria that hold great promise of rapid economic growth. I’ve always had a hunch that Mr Diamond’s close friendship with Tony Blair – famed for his curious mixture of diplomacy, charity and business in the region – can’t do any harm in this endeavour.
On Thursday, Atlas finally admitted what independent readers have known for some time – that it is in talks to buy the wealthy tycoon Rajan Mahtani’s Finance Bank Zambia.
That will make for a good fit with Atlas’s existing bank in the country, ABC. But Finance Bank has been mired in controversy over the years, and was even seized by the country’s central bank in 2010 before being returned to Mr Mahtani when a new government came to power.