People Moves

New CEO To Take The Helm At Barclays

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 28 October 2015

New CEO To Take The Helm At Barclays

The UK-listed banking group has announced a new chief executive, taking up the slot left after the departure of Antony Jenkins.

Barclays today announced it is appointing former JP Morgan senior manager James Staley as its new chief executive, taking up the role from 1 December and filling the vacancy left after Barclays forced out Antony Jenkins earlier this year amid demands for faster change. (See that story here).

There had been media speculation in recent days that the UK-listed banking group was to appoint Staley.

Shares in the bank were down 0.56 per cent around 9 am local London time, at 249.45 pence per share, lagging the FTSE 100 Index of blue-chip shares, which was up slightly on the day.

Staley has nearly four decades of experience in banking and financial services. He worked for over 30 years at JP Morgan, initially training as a commercial banker, and later moving into leadership roles of businesses such as private banking and asset management, and ultimately, leading its investment bank. Staley is currently managing partner of BlueMountain Capital.

Jenkins was ousted earlier this year after a three-year stint as CEO which had seen a structural overhaul and downsizing - to some degree - of the investment bank's risk exposure. Jenkins had taken over after Bob Diamond, a controversial, high-profile figure, resigned in 2012 amid the Libor-rigging scandal in which Barclays was a prominent player.

“In Jes Staley we believe we have an executive with the appropriate leadership talent and wide-ranging experience to deliver shareholder value and to take the group forward strategically,” John McFarlane, Barclays' chairman, said.

A large task for Staley will be sharpening performance of Barclays' investment banking operations and – along with other major banking peers – managing to do this while reducing risk exposure and boosting overall profitability. In recent days, for example, banking groups such as Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse have announced large structural overhauls.

“We must also continue the focus on shareholder returns which John McFarlane has mandated. Barclays is a very valuable franchise: from its retail and commercial banking presence in the UK, its strength in cards and payments, its strong position in Africa, to its investment bank. Maximising the potential of this franchise means building on our competitive advantages and developing new ones in order to generate strong returns on capital,” Staley said in today’s statement.

Commenting on behalf of the board nominations committee, Sir Michael Rake said: “We are unanimous in our view that Jes Staley is the right man for that role, we wish him every success, and he will have our full support."

Barclays has been through a series of major changes in recent years; on its wealth and invesment management side, its results are no longer reported separately, although it remains as a discrete business unit of the bank. Ironically, given Staley's US background, Barclays this year agreed to sell its US-based wealth business to Stifel Financial.

In a separate announcement today, UBS said Staley is resigning from all his roles at UBS with immediate effect to avoid conflicts of interest. Saley will not stand for re-election as a member of the UBS board of directors at UBS's annual general meeting on 10 May 2016, the bank said. He was elected to the UBS board at UBS's May 2015 AGM and was a member of the human resources and compensation committee and risk committee. UBS will announce at a later stage whether it will nominate additional candidates for election to the board at its next AGM.



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