Barclays hires Jes Staley as new chief executive

By Nicole Miskelly | 28 October 2015

Barclays has confirmed that former J P Morgan chief executive Jes Staley has been hired as the new chief executive for the bank.

Barclays said that Staley, who replaces former chief executive Anthony Jenkins who was fired in July, will start his new position on 1 December and will take over from Barclays chairman John McFarlane, who has been acting chief executive since the position became available.

“Barclays is an incredibly important, broad and complex business. Appointing an individual with the business scope, seasoning and track record is a difficult challenge,” said McFarlane.

Staley’s background and key priorities

According to City A.M, Staley is a Boston-born banker who joined Morgan Guaranty Trust Co in 1979 straight from university and worked as the head of corporate finance for Brazil, becoming a founding member of JP Morgan’s equities business in the early 1990s.

In 1999 he became the head of the bank’s private banking division, and in this position he helped to triple profits. In 2001 he was made chief executive of JP Morgan Asset Management, a division which he ran until 2009 when he was promoted to chief executive of the banks investment arm. During this time he was also named as one of the bank’s hedge fund superstars.

In 2013, Staley moved to Blue Mountain Capital as managing partner and was also elected to the board of UBS.

When Jenkins was fired back in July, McFarlane said that a new approach was needed and set out a three point plan which included the need for the bank to deliver on strategy by focusing on its core franchise, accelerate the delivery of shareholder value and install a high performance ethic and values-driven culture across the group.

Despite his impressive banking background, the Guardian reported last week that Conservative MP and select committee member Mark Garnier has called for Staley to reassure the party that his appointment would not “represent a shift in direction back to a more aggressive style of banking.”

Speaking about his new position Staley said: “We will be committed to preserving and enhancing the trust that is the foundation of Barclays’ reputation. Stability and long-term orientation and cornerstones for this great institution. We must recognise Barclays’ special obligation to those principles. We must also continue the focus on shareholder returns which John McFarlane has mandated.”

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