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EX-RBS BANKER HOUNDED OUT OF THE CITY

ONE of Sir Fred Goodwin&rsquo;s former sidekicks at the Royal Bank of Scotland was last night forced to resign from his new City role at headhunter Odgers Berndtson, after his connection to the beleaguered bank cost his firm one of its most lucrative contracts.<br /><br />Johnny Cameron, previously head of investment banking at RBS, said he had decided to step down immediately as a senior adviser to Odgers after UK Financial Investments (UKFI), the group set up to manage the government&rsquo;s stakes in part-nationalised banks, last week vetoed the firm&rsquo;s involvement in the search for its new chief executive because of his appointment.<br /><br />&ldquo;I joined Odgers because I believed I could contribute to the firm&rsquo;s success,&rdquo; said Cameron yesterday. <br /><br />&ldquo;However if there is any risk at all that I could in any way damage the firm, particularly having regard to its very strong franchise in the financial and public sectors, it is clearly best that I step aside.&rdquo;<br /><br />Cameron has experienced extraordinary difficulties finding a new role since leaving RBS in October last year. Earlier this year, he held talks with investment bank Greenhill, but had to walk away when the Financial Services Authority (FSA) indicated it would not approve the appointment.<br /><br />Cameron, who is still well-respected in the business world despite his involvement with RBS, is understood to have received a number of additional job offers from City banks before electing to take up a less controversial role in the recruitment sector.<br /><br />One source close to the banker said: &ldquo;This is in danger of implying he can&rsquo;t earn a living. If he can&rsquo;t even work as a headhunter, what on earth can he be?&rdquo;<br /><br />Richard Boggis-Rolfe, who heads up Odgers along with former Tory minister Virginia Bottomley, said: &ldquo;I have accepted Johnny&rsquo;s resignation as an adviser with regret. His significant business experience, intelligence and contacts &ndash; coupled with his determination to rebuild his career &ndash; could have made him extraordinarily effective.&rdquo;<br /><br />Boggis-Rolfe added that everyone should have the opportunity to atone for his or her mistakes.<br /><br />&ldquo;We did not correctly read the public mood with regard to former senior executives of RBS and I regret that,&rdquo; he said. <br /><br />&ldquo;But Johnny&rsquo;s behaviour over this matter confirms our view that whatever errors he and others may have made in the past, it will be a great shame if he cannot build a new career and begin to make a positive contribution to business success in this country.&rdquo;