Factbox: Five things to know about new Barclays CEO Venkat

LONDON, Nov. 1 (Reuters) – Barclays chief executive Jes Staley unexpectedly left the bank on Monday amid a dispute with UK financial regulators over how he described his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein . Read more

He will be replaced by CS Venkatakrishnan, better known as Venkat, who was previously responsible for global markets.

Here are five facts about Venkat.

ANOTHER JPMORGAN ALUM

Venkat is one of a group of top Barclays executives debauched from rival JPMorgan with Staley. Among them, Paul Compton, Global Head of Investment Banking, who was also Staley’s right-hand man in the reorganization and rationalization of the various entities of the Barclays group in recent years.

Others include Tushar Morzaria, who was CFO of the US lender’s investment bank before taking on the CFO position at Barclays under Staley, and Ashok Vaswani who worked at a private equity firm funded by JPMorgan and now heads the consumer banking division of Barclays.

SUCCESSION PLAN BEHIND THE SCENES

Although Staley’s departure is sudden, the British lender claims to have had a succession plan “in hand for some time”. The bank said in its stock market announcement Monday that it had screened potential external candidates for the management position, but identified Venkat as its preferred candidate more than a year ago.

Barclays rocked its first ranks in September 2020, advancing Venkat from the group’s chief risk officer position to head of global markets to allow him to lead the lender’s critical investment banking unit.

PAIR OF HANDS SR

Barclays hope Venkat’s experience as the group’s chief risk officer – from 2016 to 2020 – will make him a safe pair of hands following Staley’s controversial tenure.

While in a risky position at JPMorgan, he pointed out the potential for massive losses in a derivatives trade – a scandal later known as the “London Whale” that resulted in a loss of 6.2 billions of dollars.

A US Senate investigation found that some losses could have been avoided had JPMorgan heeded Venkat’s warning, Bloomberg reported this month, adding that Venkat was known for his unfazedness and penchant for emojis even in the face of crisis.

Venkat holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A LOT OF MONEY

Venkat will have a higher base salary than its predecessor, amid a scorching recruitment market, with banks largely leaving the costs of COVID-19 behind. Venkat will receive £ 2.7million ($ 3.69million) in fixed salary – half in cash and half in stock. While this exceeds Staley’s £ 2.4million per year, it remains a cut in the undisclosed fixed salary of Venkat at the head of global markets, the Barclays board has said.

Venkat will also be eligible for a bonus up to a maximum of 93% of his fixed salary and long-term incentives up to 140% of the fixed salary per year, as well as a cash payment in lieu of pension of 135,000 books per year.

Staley’s total compensation was £ 4million last year.

PROTECTED

Venkat is likely to pursue the same strategy as Staley at least in the short term, according to an internal staff memo seen by Reuters on Monday.

“Jes has been my manager, mentor and friend for many years,” he wrote.

“The strategy we have in place is the right one, and we will continue with our existing plans to transform our organization and leverage our financial prowess.”

($ 1 = 0.7311 pounds)

Reporting by Lawrence White and Iain Withers; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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