Barclays Names New CEO

Barclays PLC is on the cusp of naming James Staley, a former JPMorgan Chase executive, as its new chief executive officer, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday (Oct. 12), with an official appointment coming as soon as the next several weeks.

If Staley does assume the mantle, he will do so after a three-month search spearheaded by John McFarlane, executive chairman of the firm, with a void left by former CEO Antony Jenkins in the wake of middling financial performance. Revenue at the investment bank in the second quarter of this year was flat when compared to the same period in 2014.

WSJ reported that Staley’s move to the CEO role might signal “an important change of direction” at Barclays. Jenkins had been looking to bring the financial services giant to depend less ardently on its investment banking unit, with significant job cuts, and Staley, as an investment banker, may seek to reverse that tide, according to WSJ. In contrast to European rivals, U.S. banks have been able to grow in the wake of the financial crisis.

Staley has been with JPMorgan across three decades and led the investment bank beginning in 2009 until leaving for a hedge fund, BlueMountain, in 2013, acquiring a stake in the firm. BlueMountain had previously bet against JPMorgan in several trades.

WSJ reported that this is the second time Staley has been in the running for the top Barclays job, having been passed over before in favor of Jenkins.

[bctt tweet=”This is the second time Staley has been in the running for the top Barclays job.”]

Given Staley’s investment banking background, WSJ reported that grappling with Barclays retail operations may pose a strong challenge as technology leads the shift toward mobile and online banking. The company has also boosted other technology initiatives, such as cloud-based contingency payments.

Though Staley may be at the top of the list for the CEO role, WSJ reported, there are others on the short list for the candidacy, ranging from Barclays Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Moulds to Morgan Stanley’s Colm Kelleher.

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