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Staley’s latest rejig at Barclays doubles down on the bits that Bramson hates

The Barclays chief executive is doing all he can to make investment banking and markets part of his legacy.

Mark Baker on investment banking 1920px

Jes Staley is making something of a name for himself at the helm of Barclays – and not just for his gaffes.

There have, it must be said, been a few of those. Whether accidentally referring to his Barclays colleagues as great ‘Morgan’ executives (although some of them certainly have been), or managing to get sucked into email correspondence with a prankster (although he wasn’t alone in that), or dealing with whistleblowing complaints in a way that displeased regulators (although not so much as to deem him unfit for his role, they said), Staley hasn’t always stood out for the right reasons.

But there’s a lot more to his tenure as Barclays CEO than that.

Since he took over in 2015, he has re-oriented the bank around a transatlantic strategy that has often confounded the doubters. The investment bank is doing pretty well.

And he has shown a determined streak in his fight against activist shareholder Edward Bramson, not least in the way that he has doubled down on the kind of investment banking and markets businesses that Bramson would rather Barclays downgrade or exit.

In 2017 he hired the bullish Tim Throsby from JPMorgan to run the investment bank, and in particular to make its markets businesses rediscover their appetite for risk.


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