Hugh E. McGee III, a former Lehman Brothers oil banker, fired his gun into upstate New York’s sky last year. Clients and colleagues, who know him as Skip, watched the one duck tagged with a ribbon fall.
Bloomberg News reports that the Texan, who became chief executive officer of Barclays' Americas business in May, has a trickier target now.
He’s responsible for improving relations with U.S. regulators after the London-based bank agreed to pay $450 million in fines for rigging benchmark interest rates and pledged to embrace humility, cut pay and return to its 17th century Quaker roots.
That makes McGee, 54, with an appetite for blockbuster deals and the risks that make them happen, a noteworthy choice.
'Skip’s such a hard-driving guy', said Gregory Pipkin, a Lehman energy banking co-head who joined Barclays when it bought the firm’s U.S. units in 2008, and McGee’s friend since grade school. 'The only thing we didn’t compete for: I didn’t compete for his wife, and he didn’t compete for my wife'.
McGee, head of the investment-banking division until this year, embodies competing pressures inside the firm and across Wall Street. His new role, announced a week before the promise to repair a culture that veered into arrogance and greed according to a 236-page independent review, will require fulfilling that vow and banker expectations at the same time.
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image: © Howard Lake