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Managing Directors are already quietly leaving Barclays

Costs are being squeezed and headcount cut at Barclays, and although the cuts may not have started yet in earnest, senior people are leaving - voluntarily or not. 

There have been various stealthy exits from Barclays risk team in particular in recent weeks. Some are turning up elsewhere. 

Philip Capparis, Barclays’ global head of leveraged finance risk, left the bank earlier this month. He spent 28 years at the bank across New York and London, making MD in 2009. Capparis joined AGL Credit Management, a credit-focused investment firm, earlier this month to be the firm’s chief risk officer. AGL Credit Management is deeply in bed with Barclays, with the bank “finalizing a partnership”, per Bloomberg, that would see $1bn in equity commitments.

Capparis isn’t the only one leaving. Daniel Smith, Barclays’ former head of credit risk for banks and NBFIs in Europe, left the bank after 6 years in London. He joined Standard Chartered earlier this month to be its head for financial institutions risk for Europe and the Americas.

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What’s triggered this little exodus? Well, it’s hard to say for sure, but it may have something to do with Barclays’ plans to cut a bunch of back-office jobs, per Bloomberg. The bank is planning to cut up to 900 people from Barclays Execution Services, a unit that provides technology, operations, and functional services for the rest of the bank’s staff.

Barclays is also in a general cost-cutting mindset – the bank announced that it may incur “material additional charges” as part of its actions to “reduce structural costs”. That means cuts – additional cuts to its 5% front-office trimming earlier this year.

Barclays' investment bank is also under pressure. The FT says it's being asked to deliver 14-15% returns on a sustainable basis, something that it has done exactly once since 2015 - during the heyday of the pandemic bounce back in 2021. It's cutting clients as a consequence, which is probably not enough. Risk MDs, on the other hand...

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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