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19) Stephen Hester

Chief executive, Royal Bank of Scotland

Having spent years heading property giant British Land, Mr Hester inherited an icon of the credit crunch by taking charge of RBS shortly after its near-collapse. The government’s purchase of a 70 per cent share was followed by major restructuring, and the recovery of RBS would be a symbolic step towards establishing a stable banking system. It also has a huge property portfolio of its own.

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