Hugh McGee to step down as head of Barclays' Americas unit

Move signals that CEO Jenkins is taking a hard line on compensation

Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

barclays, hugh mcgee, americas unit, antony jenkins
+ Zoom

Hugh “Skip” McGee, Barclays Plc's top-paid executive and one of the most senior dealmakers to join the British bank following its purchase of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s U.S. unit, is leaving as investors push the lender to curb bonuses.

Mr. McGee will step down as chief executive officer of the Americas division at the end of the month, London-based Barclays said in a statement Tuesday. The 54-year-old will be replaced by Joe Gold, global head of client capital management.

He's leaving as CEO Antony Jenkins prepares to outline his strategy for the investment bank on May 8. Barclays is under pressure to revive profitability at its securities unit and rein in costs, including pay. Mr. Jenkins, who took over as CEO after the bank was fined for rigging benchmark interest rates, is also trying to overhaul a culture that veered into arrogance and greed, according to a review commissioned by the bank.

“McGee was the guy behind a push for higher pay for bankers and with this move, Jenkins is taking a much tougher line on compensation,” said Christopher Wheeler, a banking analyst at Mediobanca SpA in London. “It will take longer to assess the collateral damage this may do to the franchise and what it means about Barclays's commitment to the U.S.”


Barclays said it's making the change as the Dodd-Frank Act requires it to set up a U.S. holding company, forcing managers to focus on regulation and compliance matters.

“Skip McGee has delivered outstanding service over the last 21 years, both at Barclays and previously at Lehman,” Mr. Jenkins said in the statement. “He has been the longest-serving head of investment banking on Wall Street, and our most senior client-facing executive, responsible for driving some of the industry's highest profile transactions.”

Mr. McGee was part of the team that sold Lehman's U.S. units to Barclays in 2008, and was among a group of top executives who negotiated agreements to stay. Mr. McGee's compensation was worth at least $15 million for one year, according to a colleague close to him who wasn't authorized to speak about pay packages. In March, the bank said Mr. McGee received a further 8.87 million pounds in shares, the most among the lender's 12 most senior executives.

Barclays Chairman David Walker was last week forced to defend the bonuses paid to investment bankers as 24% of shareholders voting at the bank's annual general meeting rejected the compensation awarded to executives for 2013. Mr. Walker said the lender was “losing people who were crucial to the future” of the bank.

(Bloomberg News)


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


Creating client events with a 'wow'

Financial adviser Ryan Furstenau has turned his passion for Dodge Vipers into new clients. Learn about his event and how it has helped him prospect in a small community.

Video Spotlight

The Search for Income

Sponsored by PGIM Investments

Recommended Video

Path to growth

Latest news & opinion

Another thousand Dow points higher, and investors yawn

Market milestones keep falling like dominoes, with 51 records broken so far this year.

LPL retains $570 million with super-OSJ deal

Kansas-based nVision Wealth will come under supervision of Chicago-based IHT Wealth Management.

How does your advisory firm stack up?

Comparing a firm's pay to the competition can point out vast flaws.

10 signs your client is cheating on you

Sure signs that clients may be on the way out the door.

Morgan Stanley sees slower fee-based asset flows on fiduciary rule delay

Flows to advisory accounts, while still higher than the start of 2016, dropped off more than 20% from Q2 and were the lowest in a year.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print