Former Lehman 'Bro' Skip McGee And His Brash Style Will Lead Barclays America

hugh skip mcgee

Hugh “Skip” McGee III, the former global head of investment banking at Lehman Brothers during the financial crisis, has taken the helm of Barclays’ American division. 

A new profile from Max Abelson at Bloomberg shows just how the former oil banker got to where he is.

McGee, 54, joined Lehman in 1993. The Princeton football star was involved in some huge transactions, including the largest leveraged buyout in history (former TXU Corp) and a $41 billion acquisition of XTO Energy by Exxon Mobil.

McGee also helped lead Lehman’s efforts to spin off toxic assets during the crisis. That, we know, didn’t work.

But when the firm’s U.S. unit found itself in Barclay’s warm embraces in 2008, McGee was among a handful of top Lehman “Bros” who negotiated a new contract.

He has been with the firm ever since, and took on his new role as CEO of Barclays Americas business in May.

McGee’s colleagues told Bloomberg that he is “controlled, intense, and diligent.”

Among McGee’s more memorable moments of intensity was in November 2009 when he sent a letter to his son’s school after they cancelled a playful pep rally routine. His son and other football players planned to dress in drag.

From Bloomberg:

“Why is a married, heterosexual coach considered an oddity at Kinkaid?” McGee wrote in the letter, which was e-mailed to friends by Ray Childress, a former all-pro lineman for the Houston Oilers and a Kinkaid parent, and then spread to blogs. McGee wrote that “a gay female coach” had scolded her athletes for supporting the football team and that the head of the school’s diversity committee made his son cry by calling bankers “sleazeballs” in class.

Known for his hard-driving business style, the Texan will be responsible for bolstering relations with U.S. regulators in the wake of the LIBOR scandal that humiliated the London-based bank and racked up $450 million in fines.

At Barclays, McGee will have a tenuous situation to deal with. On the one hand, he’s tasked with repairing an old boys’ club culture of arrogance and greed. But he also has his bankers to appease. And, as sources told Bloomberg, McGee is a champion for healthy pay and freer capital.

Read the full report at Bloomberg>

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