Barclays to name former JP Morgan banker as CEO

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Barclays is set to name former JP Morgan investment banker Jes Staley as chief executive, according to sources.

The Financial Times reports that Staley is awaiting regulatory approval to be named as the new head, to lead the business through a restructuring.

There was reportedly a shortlist of two people for the top job, with Staley taking the lead in the past couple of days. He was previously offered the job in 2012, but was too expensive to hire, among other factors.

Among Staley’s tasks as chief executive would be stripping out non-core assets at the bank and separating the investment bank from its retail banking operations.

A source quoted by the FT says: “Winding down an investment bank with a big American investment banker in charge of the group is going to be challenging.”

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says: “Any fresh moves to boost returns from Barclays’ underperforming investment banking business will be welcome, especially if its balance sheet continues to shrink.

“A reduced exposure may leave the bank with less potential for growth but it could lower the risks associated with, and improve the predictability of, its overall profits, and therefore prompt a re-evaluation of its shares.”

Staley left JP Morgan in 2013 after 34 years, where he had been seen as a potential successor to Jamie Dimon, to join BlueMountain Capital.

His move to hedge fund BlueMountain was controversial at the time as the fund was on the other side of the London Whale trade, profiting from the deal that left JP Morgan with billions of dollars in losses.