Ten things to know about Rich Ricci’s rise to riches

Rich Ricci, or Richie Rich?
Rich Ricci, or Richie Rich?
Image: Getty Images/Indigo
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There goes the last of former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond’s close-knit crew of senior executives: Rich Ricci just announced this morning that he’ll be stepping down as the bank’s head of corporate and investment banking.

This is sad news, especially if you’re willing to overlook the rate-rigging scandal he and all those other Barclays executives seem to have known about last year.

A travesty, really.

But let’s look on the bright side: Thanks to nearly 20 years at Barclays, Rich Ricci is really, really rich.

A man of unique, but strangely fitting passions—and hats—Ricci’s rise to riches is as unlikely as it is littered with fascinating tidbits. We gathered ten of our favorites.

  1. We know Rich Ricci was born in 1964. Where exactly though? That’s a bit less clear. Some believe it was somewhere on the east coast, while others hold it was in Nebraska.
  2. What can be said with certainty is where he went to college: Ricci got his bachelor’s degree in finance from Creighton University in Nebraska. Considering that the man is worth upwards of £100 million, it’s a bit peculiar that, according to a profile in The Independent, the “small Jesuit university slap bang in the middle of the United States deems him unworthy of a mention in its list of notable alumni.”
  3. He was neither a trader nor an investment banker before Barclays. Unlike most Wall Street executives, Ricci’s rise began with stints in the operations, finance and technology departments at the Banks of Boston and New England. Only in 1994 did he join Bob Diamond at BMZ, the name under which Barclays investment banking division traded at the time.
  4. Ricci loves raising horses—he and his wife own 40 horses in total—but his true passion is entering them in Irish horse races. When asked about why he prefers to race his horses in Ireland rather than in, say, England where he lives, Ricci responded: “I often get calls from trainers in England wondering why I don’t have horses in training there, considering I’m based in England, but I just love Irish racing. The people are fantastic, the atmosphere is really good and the prize-money is still attractive. My wife and I get a real buzz from it.”
  5. He also loves Sarah Palin. Or did in 2008, when he donated a total of 17,000 to senator John Mccain’s failed White House bid.
  6. He’s a fat cat in a hat. After The Independent ran the headline “Who’s The Fat Cat in The Hat?” in reference to him, he didn’t flinch. Instead, he went ahead and named one of his racehorses fatcatinahat.
  7. He wants to be left alone. When asked about Ricci’s penchant for keeping his private life a secret, a director at Barclays once said: ”He’s bald and he gets shit done, that’s all we know.”
  8. Ricci pocketed a monstrous £44 million in 2010, only £700,000 of which came from his actual salary. The Barclays executive raked in £3.35 million from a long-term incentive award, £9 million in bonuses and £30 million in shares. And this came only weeks after the bank promised the British government it would show restraint. Barclays simply couldn’t resist returning the favor for his oversight of the Lehman Brothers acquisition, which many have since dubbed the “deal of the century.”
  9. He was photographed buying a euromillions lottery ticket, which is mildly shocking considering that the jackpot of £92 million is likely less than his net worth—estimated at over £100 million.
  10. He may be the quickest slinger in the west. After being handed 5.7 million shares last month, Ricci sold them immediately, raking in over £17 million before Barclays’ stock fell later that week.