Aug 8, 2018

Activist investor Bramson lays down marker on Barclays

Edward Bramson's activist investment fund has stepped up the pressure on Barclays by saying it is engaging with the bank on its search for and the mandate of a chairman to replace John McFarlane. By listing the succession process and the mandate of the future chairman among his priorities, Mr Bramson appears to be laying down a marker that, as one of the bank's biggest shareholders, he wants to have a long-term impact on the bank's strategy. Barclays published a relatively strong set of results last week, which showed a trebling of quarterly pre-tax profits, giving it more ammunition to argue for sticking with its current strategy in its discussions with Mr Bramson. Mr Bramson is yet to fully show his hand but one person who knows him well said he was likely to call for Barclays to return to shareholders much of the £26bn of capital tied up in its corporate and investment banking division by shrinking the unit. Mr Bramson, who was born in London but moved to New York more than 30 years ago, is due to meet Mr Staley when the Barclays boss goes on an investor roadshow to discuss its quarterly results in the next few weeks, according to two people briefed on the matter.

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