Barclays hired former Bank of America Merrill Lynch executive Jonathan Moulds yesterday to split the bank up to fit incoming ring fence law.
Implementing the rules which split the investment banking arm from the retail banking and payments systems represents a major challenge for the new chief operating officer.
Domestic rivals such as Lloyds are expected to have little trouble fitting into the rules, as the bank is almost entirely a domestic retail lender.
Pure investment banks will also dodge any impact.
And global giants like HSBC, or lenders which focus almost entirely abroad such as Standard Chartered, will see little of their business affected by the changes.
By contrast Barclays is big in both investment and retail banking and so has to do more work to split the two.
The aim of the rules, proposed by the Vickers Report, is to protect the critical functions like the payments system, as well as retail customers and small businesses.
Those functions will be placed within the ring fence, and investment banking activities will go outside the protected unit. If a financial crisis strikes and banks get into trouble, the aim is for the ring-fenced bank to be protected ahead of the remainder.
“This is a period of profound change for Barclays as the Group builds momentum in the implementation of its strategy and deals with external forces including structural reform,” said Moulds.
Jonathan Moulds is an experienced investment banker, with a wide knowledge of the structure of businesses, and a global outlook on the sector.
The new chief operating officer at Barclays had a long spell at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and its predecessors.
The Halifax native joined Bank of America in 1995 when the giant lender acquired Chicago Research & Trading, where he worked.
Moulds spent a decade in fixed income and derivatives, in leadership roles across the US and global units.
From 2005 to 2008 he was head of international at Bank of America.
And after the merger between the two banks, he became head of Latin America, Canada and Europe for Merrill Lynch.
Moulds’ final role at the group saw him become chief executive of Merrill Lynch international, and head of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Europe.
Despite leaving the bank in 2012, he has been tempted back into an executive role by Barclays’ chief executive Antony Jenkins.
The 49-year-old is also a big player in the arts world, with a slew of major roles under his belt.
These include non-executive roles at the London Symphony Orchestra and Prince Charles’ Arts and Business Leadership Team.
Moulds is also a trustee of The Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians, and is a collector of Stradivarius string instruments.