A BOARDROOM clear-out is on the cards at Barclays after newly installed chairman Sir David Walker completes the search for a chief executive to run the scandal-hit bank.
The 72-year-old City grandee is “fully engaged” in the hunt to replace the controversial Bob Diamond with a boss who is widely expected to come from a retail banking background outside of Barclays.
Among the contenders fitting this bill are former Northern Rock chief executive Gary Hoffman, Lloyds deputy chairman David Roberts and Hector Sants, former head of the Financial Services Authority.
Many, including Shore Capital analyst Gary Greenwood, believe a further boardroom cull will follow the chief executive’s appointment. Greenwood said: “Once this move has been completed, we would expect further senior heads to roll as the company looks to further clean up its image.”
Among the potential candidates within Barclays, Antony Jenkins – head of retail and business banking – is thought the most likely contender for the top post. But an external appointment is widely deemed essential to clean up the bank’s reputation.
Looking beyond the UK, the search for outsiders throws up a number of candidates, such as John Stumpf, the head of San Francisco-based Wells Fargo. Gail Kelly, head of Australia’s Westpac, and former UBS chief executive Oswald Grubel.
Investec analyst Ian Gordon would like the next head of Barclays to come from a retail banking background.
Given the new chairman’s past experience at the helm of Morgan Stanley, it is no longer deemed vital that the chief executive be steeped in investment banking. This could play against another possible contender, Bill Winters, the former co-chief of JP Morgan’s investment banking division.
Greenwood said the field was wide-open, with every chance that the successful candidate slips under the radar. This opens up possibilities to the likes of Adrian Grace, the current chief executive of Aegon who spent a spell as head of insurance at Barclays.
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