UK bank Barclays has appointed veteran US banker Jes Staley as its new chief executive
The arrival of Staley, a former head of investment banking at JP Morgan and managing partner in hedge fund BlueMountain, signals a change of direction from his predecessor Anthony Jenkins who was ousted in July after being hired in the aftermath of the Libor rigging crisis.
Jenkins's efforts to focus on the bank's ethics fell foul of the bank's board and led to a series of rows over banker's bonuses and cost cutting initiatives.
Staley was reportedly considered for the Barclays job back in 2012 when Bob Diamond departed but Jenkin's background in retail banking was considered to be a safer option at the time. But despite Staley's investment banking pedigree, Barclays chairman John McFarlane has played down any notion that the new appointment will signal a bolstering of Barclays trading and investment banking arms. McFarlane described Staley as a "a client guy" rather than a trader.
Staley, who starts the new role on December 1st, issued a memo to staff outlining his plan to continue with the bank's cost-cutting plans, to increase shareholder returns and to complete the "cultural transformation and repositioning of the investment bank".
Barclays is one of few banks that generates almost equal revenue from its retail and inverstment banking units (£4.4 billion and £4.3 billion respectively in 2014). In his memo to staff, Staley also vowed to prioritise the bank's digital banking business, promising that Barclays will "lead the revolution sweeping through [the personal and corporate banking] world".