John Varley, who guided Barclays bank through the credit crisis without resorting to a government bailout, will retire next year as chief executive, to be succeeded by the head of the group’s highly profitable investment banking operation, the company said yesterday.
Robert Diamond Jr, 59, will take over as CEO on March 31.
Currently the head of corporate and investment banking as well as the Barclays Wealth unit, Diamond joined the company in 1996.
His salary will be £1.35 million (US$2.08 million) with bonuses of up to 250 percent of that figure. The bank said it also intended to award a long term, performance-based share incentive of 500 percent of base salary next year.
Barclays’ chairman Marcus Agius told reporters in a conference call that Diamond’s compensation was “well benchmarked” against the pay of other chief executives of major banks.
Under Varley’s leadership, Barclays secured private investment in the Middle East to shore up its capital position during the credit crisis, and he led Barclays’ move to expand its investment banking business by acquiring the US operations of Lehman Brothers following its collapse.
Varley said it was his intention when he took the top job seven years ago that he would move on at age 55, a milestone he reaches in April.
He will continue as a special adviser on regulatory matters for another six months beyond his retirement date.
Jerry del Missier and Rich Ricci will become co-chief executives of Barclays Capital, effective Oct. 1.
Separately, the BBC says that the chairman of HSBC bank plans to retire to take a new job as the British government’s trade minister.
BBC business reporter Robert Peston said on his blog that the bank would announce Stephen Green’s retirement later yesterday.
HSBC had no immediate comment.
Green, 61, served HSBC as chief executive from 2003 to 2006.