Jenkins gets City backing as seasoned professional

Tim Wallace
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BARCLAYS is in for a sharp change of culture, despite the promotion of a leading insider to the top job, analysts said yesterday.

Antony Jenkins joined the bank more than 30 years ago, with an interval at Citi, and as such could be open to criticism as Barclays faces calls to change its culture radically.

However, commentators insisted his background in retail banking, as well as his quiet style, represents a vital change of attitude at the top of the banking giant.

Former boss Bob Diamond came in for public criticism when he told MPs “the time for remorse is over” – the kind of bold statement that built his image as a brash chief executive.

By contrast, Jenkins has an image as a thoughtful leader – which supporters argue is a key strength given the review into Barclays’ culture.

“This is a great appointment – the one thing Jenkins personifies is a disciplined business culture – he defines honesty and trustworthiness,” said former colleague Justin Urquhart Stewart, now at Seven Investment Management.

“He has excellent experience from his time at Citi and from taking over Barclaycard. He took a lacklustre brand where profits were going nowhere and really reinvigorated it.”

Jenkins too rejects the idea that his style is not appropriate to make big changes, again pointing to his track record of shaking up businesses.

“My career has been all about change and transformation, both in Barclays and in the US,” he told City A.M.

“I am very familiar with the American style of doing business.”

However, analysts did warn his retail and commercial background could mean Jenkins will cut back on the investment banking arm, which generated most of the group’s profits last quarter. “He will take a very fresh view of the investment bank,” said Oriel Securities’ Mike‚ÄąTrippett.