* Roger Jenkins to set up advisory boutique -source
* Boutique to make use of strong Middle East links
* Key dealmaker, tax expert reported to be top earner
By Steve Slater
LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Roger Jenkins, the $200 million top Barclays dealmaker whose contact book includes George Clooney and Mick Jagger alongside wealthy investors, is set to go it alone and set up a Middle East advisory boutique.
Jenkins is finalising the terms of his departure from British bank Barclays (BARC.L), a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.
He is expected to set up an advisory business with offices in the Middle East, London and California, the source said.
Barclays declined to comment.
Jenkins, 53, and his wife Dijana count Clooney, Jagger, Cindy Crawford, Michael Caine and wealthy Qatar investor Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani among their friends. Yet few outsiders know much about him, and he prefers it that way.
“I don’t want to be out and about,” he said in a rare interview three years ago. “I guard my privacy.”
Jenkins made his name at Barclays for devising complex structures to help individuals and companies pay less tax.
That tax expertise, which arbitrages different tax regimes and which Barclays says is legal, earned him the nickname “Roger the Dodger” and means he makes more money for Barclays than any other individual.
He was named head of its investment banking and wealth management business in the Middle East in April 2008 and was pivotal in arranging a 7 billion pound ($11.50 billion) fundraising for Barclays just months later, which saved the bank from taking rescue funds from the taxpayer.
His loss will be a blow to Barclays, though analysts noted that top bankers are likely to face more scrutiny on pay after a proposals to change corporate governance, while BarCap’s Structured Capital Markets (SCM) division has attracted controversy for its tax advice.
Born and educated in Scotland, Jenkins was a talented 400 metre runner who has amassed a 120 million pound ($197 million) fortune, according to the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List.
His brother David won a silver medal at the 4x400m relay at 1972 Munich Olympics but was later jailed for smuggling steroids into the United States.
Roger is widely reported to have earned 40 million pounds last year. Barclays does not comment on his pay as he does not sit on the bank’s board.
Jenkins shuns publicity but has hosted A-list celebrity events, alongside his Bosnian wife, whom he met when he taught her a finance course at City University in London. An event co-hosted with George Clooney in December helped raise 10 million pounds for refugees from Darfur.
Dijana is credited with opening many of the doors to Jenkins’ best contacts, in particular helping forge his relationship with Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani.
“Roger and I couldn’t be any more different but we make a good team,” she said in a recent newspaper interview. “He’s very stable, focused and calm. I sometimes have to force him to open the door to new opportunities.”
Jenkins joined Barclays in 1978 as a graduate trainee and from 1982 to 1984 was head of private placements for BZW in New York. He left in 1987 for a seven year spell at Kleinwort Benson in New York, and rejoined as head of SCM in 1994. He is also chief executive of Barclays Private Equity. (Editing by Rupert Winchester)