Barclays delivers a bombshell as investment-banking head Tim Throsby steps down

  • Tim Throsby, the head of Barclays’ international division and investment bank, is leaving after a little more than two years.
  • The bank on Wednesday outlined a broad swathe of management moves. The sudden departure is potentially explosive for a company already grappling with an activist-shareholder revolt.

Tim Throsby, the head of Barclays’ international division and investment bank, is leaving the UK bank after a little more than two years.

A statement from the bank on Wednesday outlined a broad swathe of management moves. Throsby was brought in with great fanfare from JPMorgan, a bigger US rival, in 2017. The sudden departure is potentially explosive for a company already grappling with an activist-shareholder revolt.

Ashok Vaswani, who heads Barclays UK, “will take on a newly created role within the Group as Global Head of Consumer Banking & Payments, reporting to Group CEO, Jes Staley,” the company said.

Vaswani will “oversee the execution of plans for the Group’s consumer banking and cards & payments businesses in the UK and internationally,” it said.

Throsby left “as a consequence of the changes announced” on Wednesday, according to the firm.

Staley said in the statement: “We are grateful to Tim for his stewardship of Barclays International and BBPLC, and for his service to the Group more broadly. We wish him well for the future.”

When he joined Barclays, Throsby vowed a new era of “commercial zeal” to match that of big bulge-bracket rivals and lamented that Barclays employees had lost a “suitable focus on opportunities to deploy risk,” according to Bloomberg.

Last year, Throsby led an overhaul of the investment bank, slashing about 100 senior staff members.

Insiders at the bank told Business Insider the shakeups had become exhausting. Some said they worried about the future of the investment-banking unit. The insiders declined to be named discussing corporate policy.

A Barclays spokesman, Simon Hailes, told Business Insider that the worries were “ridiculous” and that the commitment to Throsby’s commercial zeal was unchanged as evidenced by Staley’s comments in the statement:

“Competing in the top tier of global corporate and investment banking, enabled by our size, and commitment across asset classes, is important for Barclays’ future returns.

The company on Wednesday said the other management changes included:

  • The corporate and investment bank “will be managed as three distinct, though connected, units – Global Banking; Global Markets; and the Corporate Bank – all reporting directly to” Staley.
  • “Global Banking will comprise Barclays’ Advisory, DCM, and ECM businesses. It will be led by Joe McGrath, the Global Head of Banking.”
  • “Stephen Dainton, currently Global Head of Equities, will act as interim Global Head of Markets, while Barclays conducts an internal and external search for a permanent appointee to this crucial role.”
  • “Alistair Currie will lead Barclays’ Corporate Bank as Head of Corporate Banking.”
  • McGrath, Dainton, and Currie will report to Staley “and join the Group Executive Committee,” effective April 1.

All the moves are subject to regulatory approval, the company said.

When the bank announced a new class of managing directors late last year, insiders said the cuts allowed room for promotions for hungry and ambitious juniors. In December, Barclays hired two senior executives, Sanjeev Mordani and Ravi Singh, to work under the chief investment officer of its international unit, Art Mbanefo.

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