May 1, 2019

Edward Bramson does not deserve to rule Barclays

The fireworks are returning on Thursday as Edward Bramson, a solitary and politely disruptive activist investor, tries to join Barclays board at its annual general meeting and rip up its strategy once more. Investment banking is not a predictable business, but it is predictably troublesome for Barclays. Electing him to the Barclays board would probably lead to the departure of chief executive Jes Staley, a former JPMorgan Chase investment banker, and a retreat to its UK foundations. A further reason for scepticism is that Barclays is a bank - a leveraged institution for which stability is paramount. Mr Bramson insists that he wants not merely to raise shareholder returns at Barclays by curbing its exposure to investment banking but to make it stronger.

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