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Awards for Excellence 2021: Best investment bank in the UK



Best Investment Bank: Barclays

The determination of Barclays chief executive Jes Staley to compete in global investment banking appeared to pay off this year, with the division providing a bulwark of profitability at a time when the consumer and commercial businesses were struggling. Profits in corporate and investment banking rose 35% in 2020 and 45% in the first quarter of 2021, achieving returns on tangible equity of 9.5% and 18% respectively.

In the UK, according to Dealogic, Barclays is the only bank in the awards period to achieve top-five positions across ECM, DCM and M&A.

Jes Staley

One example of the development of the UK business under Alisdair Gayne, head of UK investment banking, is its work for National Grid, its longest standing FTSE 100 corporate broking client. Barclays’ work for National Grid included the £14.2 billion acquisition of Western Power Distribution and the £5.2 billion sale of the Narragansett Electric Company. Other M&A work saw it advise Tesco, another corporate broking client, on the £8.2 billion disposal of its Thai and Malaysian businesses.

In the equity capital markets Barclays was joint global coordinator on the £1.9 billion IPO of The Hut Group, playing a key role in the reopening of the UK IPO market after the Covid-19 crash. It was also sole global coordinator on a £103 million secondary placing in Hargreaves Lansdown and joint global coordinator on a £216 million primary raise for SSP Group.