Jes Staley has all the trappings that might be associated with an investment banker who spent 35 years at JP Morgan: a 90-foot yacht, an apartment in Manhattan and a holiday retreat in Long Island.
Yet Barclays is keen to portray its new chief executive differently. Ahead of his formal appointment, Barclays chairman John McFarlane had told Bloomberg the bank was not hiring an investment banker but “a client guy” who “started out as a commercial banker, like me”.
Staley left JP Morgan three years ago to join a hedge fund, Blue Mountain, and his appointment appears to be a case of second time lucky. When Bob Diamond, another American investment banker, was ousted from the helm of Barclays during the 2012 Libor-rigging crisis, the political mood at the time and potential cost of hiring Staley led the bank to pick insider Antony Jenkins, who was running Barclays’ retail arm.
Jenkins’s focus was on repairing Barclays’ reputation, erecting five huge blocks in the Barclays’ foyer, each one referring to a target: “respect, integrity, service, excellence, stewardship”.
As he was appointed, Staley was quick to tell staff there could be no retreat from behaving with integrity at all times. But his buzzwords were different: “Successful, admired and well regarded by all”.
With Barclays facing the challenge of complying with rules to erect a ringfence between its high street and investment banking operations, Staley’s pledge to have relationships with regulators “that are collaborative, not adversarial” may soon be put to the test.
This article was written by Jill Treanor, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 28th October 2015 19.19 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010