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4 Robert Diamond Jr.

Never let a crisis go to waste.

Never let a crisis go to waste. It’s a mantra of the Obama administration, but few have taken it to heart like Bob Diamond, an erstwhile supporter of John McCain.

A former bond trader, Diamond, 58, turned Barclays Capital, the bank’s securities arm, into a global debt powerhouse in a decade, but that was just a prelude to his biggest move: buying the U.S. subsidiary of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers in September 2008, and gaining a franchise in equities and M&A (see “Barclays Capital's Bob Diamond: Wall Street’s Would-be King”).

Now ensconced in Lehman’s old Times Square headquarters, Diamond is determined to make Barclays a top-three firm across the board. Given his track record, no one on Wall Street dares dismiss his ambitions.