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Barclays Plc (BARC) said Alison Carnwath, head of the British bank’s remuneration committee, stepped down, becoming the fourth senior figure to resign since regulators fined the lender for rigging global interest rates.
“I am no longer able to devote sufficient time to my role as a director of Barclays,” Carnwath said in a statement today. The 59-year-old, who joined Barclays’s board less than two years ago, is also a director of Man Group Plc (EMG), the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund, and chairman of Land Securities Group Plc, a British real estate developer.
She had been under growing pressure to leave Barclays after approving former Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond’s 12 million-pound ($19 million) compensation package, the highest of any British bank CEO. About 21 percent of Barclays shareholders opposed her re-election as a non-executive director in April amid criticism from investors the lender was enriching employees while failing to hit its own profitability targets.
Carnwath is the fourth to quit Barclays since regulators fined the London-based bank a record 290 million pounds for manipulating the benchmark London interbank offered rate. Diamond, Chairman Marcus Agius and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Del Missier all stepped down following the fine and criticism from the U.K. regulator.
“She’s been under pressure from the start because of her role in the remuneration committee,” said Christopher Wheeler, a banking analyst at Mediobanca SpA. “There are a lot of people trying to distance themselves to protect their careers.”
Carnwath didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment through Land Securities and Evercore Partners, where she is a senior adviser.
Barclays has opened an internal review into its business practices. Anthony Salz, executive vice chairman at Rothschild, will manage the inquiry, the lender said yesterday.
Salz, 62, had a 30-year career as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and was vice chairman of the British Broadcasting Corp.’s governors. The inquiry will review the bank’s past practices, publish a report to the public and draw up a code of conduct for employees, Barclays said.
The stock rose 1.7 percent to 153.15 pence as of 1:34 p.m. in London. The stock has fallen 13 percent this year, making it the worst-performer in the six-member FTSE 350 Banks index.
Barclays is still searching for a replacement chairman and CEO. Michael Rake, chairman of discount airline EasyJet Plc, on July 23 ruled himself out as a candidate to replace Agius while Gus O’Donnell, former head of the U.K. civil service, told the BBC’s Today’ program yesterday he hasn’t been approached by Barclays or its recruiters about becoming chairman.
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