Earlier today, Barclays’ Bob Diamond resigned from his position as CEO. The Barclays brand was marred after it paid a massive fine for manipulating LIBOR, a key benchmark interest rate used all over the world.
However, Bank of America’s Michael Helsby, who covers Barclays reminds us that his whole career shouldn’t be dismissed because of this:
Whilst Bob Diamond may be a controversial public figure, his legacy at Barclays is undisputable. Under his leadership Barclays grew its Investment Bank into a global leader, taking revenues from £1bn in 1998 to over £10bn today. Best known for his acquisition of Lehman Bros, he was seen as a leading figure within the industry.
Helsby has a Buy rating on the stock witha $23.85 price target on its ADR.
He does however note that it won’t be easy to find a replacement.
The credit crisis has already claimed the jobs of many CEOs and post the revelations from Barclays of the Libor issues, may yet claim more. Hence finding a credible replacement untainted by recent events may be challenging. This may push Barclays toward an internal candidate such as Antony Jenkins, the current head of Global Retail and Commercial banking or external candidates such as Bill Winters, the former JP Morgan Investment Banking Co-CEO, who sat on the ICB panel. Whoever Barclays choose, they will take over as CEO of a leading franchise that has genuine competitive advantage versus peers.