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August 30, 2012

Antony Jenkins named as Chief Executive of Barclays

Thursday saw the Barclays group announce the appointment of Antony Jenkins to the role vacated by Bob Diamond earlier this summer. Analysts have already begun to question the future of the investment banking arm of the group.

Mr Jenkins has been selected during a tumultuous time for Barclays, just several months after the banking group admitted attempting to rig Libor (a key banking rate) and was fined £209m for its efforts. This error resulted in the resignation of Mr Diamond, Barclays chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry Del Missier. Mr Jenkins also takes the role just a day after the bank publicly revealed being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office about payments made to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund four years ago.

A statement made by Mr Jenkins makes it clear that Barclays do not intend to shy away from these scandals. He openly confesses that the bank had made “serious mistakes in recent years” and “clearly failed to keep pace with our stakeholders’ expectations”.

One thing is for certain, Mr Jenkins will have a hard job turning around Barclays’ reputation and image, after these humiliations came to light during a time when the public have the lowest faith in banking groups in recent years.

Known as the “nice guy” of banking, Mr Jenkins beat several other external candidates to the position of chief executive, including RBS chief Stephen Hester and former co-chief of JP Morgan’s investment banking branch Bill Winter.

It remains to be seen if Mr Jenkins can turn around the slump in Barclays’ stocks, but he seems up to the task. During his statement he said “We have an obligation to all of those stakeholders – customers, clients, shareholders, colleagues and broader society – and a unique opportunity to restore Barclays’ reputation by making it the ‘go-to’ bank in all of our chosen markets”.

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