LONDON – The head of the United States business of Barclays is stepping down as the bank prepares to carve out the business to comply with new financial regulations.
In a statement on Tuesday, Barclays said that Hugh McGee III, the chief executive of Barclays Americas and a longtime veteran of Lehman Brothers Holdings, would leave his role at the bank on Wednesday.
Mr. McGee, known as Skip, joined Barclays in 2008 after Lehman collapsed into bankruptcy and its North American operations were incorporated into Barclays. He took on his current role in May 2013.
He will be succeeded by Joe Gold, the global head of client capital management. Mr. Gold, who joined the bank in 2002, will take on the restructured role of chief executive of the Americas, where he will report to Thomas King and Eric Bommensath, co-chief executives of Barclays’ corporate and investment bank. He will also serve on the corporate and investment bank’s executive committee.
“Skip McGee has delivered outstanding service over the last 21 years, both at Barclays and previously at Lehman Brothers,” Antony P. Jenkins, the chief executive of Barclays, said in a statement. “He has been the longest-serving head of investment banking on Wall Street, and our most senior client-facing executive, responsible for driving some of the industry’s highest-profile transactions.”
Barclays said it was required under the Dodd-Frank Act to establish a holding company for its American business by July 2016, which will require its top management to focus more on regulatory, legal and other matters as part of the transition.
“After 21 years with Lehman Brothers and Barclays, I have made the difficult decision to leave,” Mr. McGee said in a statement. “Banking is a ‘team sport,’ and I am incredibly proud of the team we assembled here. It has been a true honor and privilege to work with so many talented people over the last two decades. We have accomplished a great deal since the combination of Barclays and Lehman in 2008. As for me, I am looking forward to my next challenge.”
Mr. McGee did not indicate what his plans were after leaving Barclays.
The move comes as Barclays is preparing next month to announce plans to restructure its investment bank as part of a huge overhaul of its business. The bank plans to eliminate as many 12,000 jobs this year, or about 8 percent of its work force.
Barclays is expected to be smaller in the future, as it focuses on higher-return, less risky businesses.
The environment has been a tough one for Barclays, whose reputation suffered in 2012 after it agreed to settle accusations by British and American regulators that its employees manipulated global benchmark interest rates. The bank paid $450 million in penalties.
In February, Barclays reported a big fourth-quarter loss of 514 million pounds, or $865 million, which was driven in part by restructuring costs and a £331 million charge for litigation and regulation penalties.
Mr. Jenkins said last week that the challenging trading environment in the second half of 2013 continued into the first quarter in the bank’s fixed income, currencies and commodities business, with “a significant year-on-year reduction” in income. But he said the bank’s efforts to control costs helped offset lower income in that business.
The bank is set to announce its first-quarter results on May 6 and reveal its plan for its investment bank on May 8.
At the same time, Barclays has found itself in the middle of a testy debate over banker bonuses in recent weeks.
The bank increased its pool for bonuses and other incentives to £2.4 billion in 2013 from £2.2 billion a year earlier, despite posting a big fourth-quarter loss.
The pool remained £1.1 billion lower than it was in 2010, but that has not reduced shareholder frustration.
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