Top Players Move Change Barclays Leadership

Ros Stephenson is leaving Barclays to join UBS in the most recent of many top players to make an exit. He will assume a major role this fall in their corporate client solutions department, placing him in direct communication with Andrea Orcel, the head of investment banking, making the new fiscal year in interesting one for both organizations.

Barclays CEO, Antony Jenkins, must now figure this in to the pressure he is under after falling behind on targets in 2013. If this wasn’t going to be hard enough, another UBS heavyweight, Hugh McGee, formerly of Lehman Brothers, resigned his position as CEO of the Americas and Robert Morrice, CEO of the Asia-Pacific, is retiring. What this all means toward the bottom line is yet to be seen, but the fast-changing leadership will initially cause some unrest. However, this can also be a positive because new leadership at the top may be just what the bank needs to get the boost it’s been looking for.

In addition to these coming departures, there have been a few others announced recently between sensible retirements and those seeking opportunities elsewhere. Among the new leadership will be Eric Bommensath. Mr. Bommensath will oversee the commodities division and his strategy is expected to be received this week.

Having reported this, it would be foolish to be a bear on Barclays. The investment bank has consistently ranked in the top 5 in the industry thanks in part to relationships in the private equity sector (which can be strengthened by recent moves) and by top performers meeting their benchmarks. While it’s true that it has expanded further than its fixed-income roots since taking over Lehman Brothers in 2008, it’s still not meeting its goals in every area where it seeks to dominate. For those with a long-term approach, this is a sign that there is potential for growth, and that the real money has still to be made.

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