- Activist investor Edward Bramson has yet to lay out a vision for how he wants British lender Barclays to alter its strategy, despite taking a major stake and publicly agitating for change, according to the bank’s CEO, Jes Staley.
- Bramson, whose hedge fund Sherborne Investors owns a 5% stake in the bank, is agitating for change, but according to Staley, has not set out a vision for doing so.
- “We are very comfortable with the trajectory of the bank, we think we’ve got, the support of our shareholders,” Staley told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Activist investor Edward Bramson has yet to lay out a vision for how he wants British lender Barclays to alter its strategy, despite taking a major stake and publicly agitating for change, according to the bank’s CEO.
Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Barclays boss Jes Staley said that while the bank had seen engagement with Bramson, the head of UK-based hedge fund Sherborne Investors, press reports about a grand plan for a change of strategy are wide of the mark.
“We’ve had a reasonable engagement with Bramson, over the last year, we’ll see him again in March. He really hasn’t laid out his strategy to us, you know, we read the press, and see what they say,” Staley told CNBC.
“We are very comfortable with the trajectory of the bank, we think we’ve got, the support of our shareholders,” he continued.
“We’ll engage with Bramson when he wants to, and exchange ideas, but for now, the bank, I think, is in a pretty good place, and the shareholders are pushing us forward.”
Staley, who before joining Barclays was head of JPMorgan’s investment bank, has made the investment bank the cornerstone of his turnaround strategy, while Bramson says it’s a resource drain and wants cuts to the division.
Earlier in January, Bramson said he had lost confidence in his dealings with Barclays and was manoeuvring to change the composition of the company’s board of directors by taking a vote to shareholders, according to Bloomberg.
“After considering the situation carefully, we do not have confidence that continued engagement with the company, strictly as an outsider, will produce any more measurable results in the future than it has to date,” Bramson said.
Away from Bramson, Staley said that Barclays hopes to see more volatility in 2019, allowing for greater activity in financial markets.
“What you want is you want volatility, and you want liquidity, and you want activity by the buy side,” he said.
“I think, this year, we will see a return to more normal levels of volatility, you know, 2017 was the lowest level of volatility in the history of the financial markets, 2018 had a couple of pops, very much towards the end of the year.”
“I think we’re going to have a more normalised level of volatility, in fact that’s a positive thing for the intermediaries of the world’s capital markets.”