‘Dr. Death’ Cut Barclays Libor Trader's Job 2 Days Before Bonus

Updated on
  • Ryan Reich testifies at trial over Libor-rigging in London
  • Princeton baseball coach testifies on behalf of Reich

A former Barclays Plc trader on trial for manipulating a key interest-rate benchmark said a human resources manager known as “Dr. Death" delivered the final blow to his career, months after he was first interviewed by the bank’s lawyers.

Ryan Reich told jurors in London Monday that he was suspended by the HR official, nicknamed “Dr. Death” because of his reputation for firing people, two days before bonuses were paid out in February 2010. The meeting took place four months after Barclays executive Harry Harrison had first called him into a meeting with lawyers about Libor-rigging, which Reich said had "freaked" him out.

Reich and colleague Stylianos Contogoulas, 45, who were on the New York and London swaps trading desks at Barclays, are charged with conspiring to manipulate the U.S. dollar London interbank offered rate from 2005 to 2007. The rate is tied to a variety of financial products, including loans and mortgages.

"I have no interest in trafficking anywhere near some sort of line," Reich, 35, said Monday. "It’s not how I act, it’s not me."

During Reich’s second day of testimony he repeatedly denied that he thought there was anything wrong with making requests to the cash desk, which set the Libor rates. 

"Requests were perfectly legitimate things to ask for at the time," he said.

Princeton Baseball

The head coach of Princeton University’s baseball team said Reich’s integrity and work ethic were key to his success as a leader on the squad between 2000-2004.

"There was really something special about Ryan right away," Scott Bradley said while testifying as a character witness Monday.

Bradley, who played for Major League Baseball clubs including the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, said Reich would never take short cuts during training, or on the field.

"I personally don’t believe it is in his make up," to commit a crime said Bradley , who’s brother Bob managed English soccer team Swansea City until December.