Epstein links up with Barclays chief Staley by Reuters – News Couple

Epstein links up with Barclays chief Staley by Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Barclays CEO Jes Staley arrives at 10 Downing Street in London January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nichols

By Ian Withers and Lawrence White

LONDON (Reuters) – He has run the Bank of England for nearly six years Barclays (LON :), American Jes Staley has built a reputation as a corporate survivor, but former dealmaker JPMorgan (NYSE 🙂 has been unable to escape his past.

During a turbulent period, Staley, 64, fended off attempts by corporate raids to break up the bank, survived an investigation into his mistreatment of a whistleblower, and navigated Britain’s third-largest bank through the coronavirus pandemic.

But it was Staley’s ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein from his time at JPMorgan that finally forced him to leave.

Barclays said on Monday that Staley had resigned as chief executive after an investigation by British regulators into his characterization of his relationship with Epstein – to both Barclays and the regulators.

Details of the findings have not yet been released, but the Bank of England and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said the investigation had previously focused on Staley’s credibility about his ties to Epstein, who died in prison in August 2019 awaiting trial on related charges. for sex trafficking.

While it was known that Epstein was Staley’s client at JPMorgan, media reports painted a picture of a possible deeper relationship, including a trip with his wife to the Caribbean island of Epstein.

Barclays said Staley had intended to challenge the findings of the UK investigation. She said the investigation did not find that Staley had seen or had knowledge of any of Epstein’s alleged crimes.

Staley previously said he deeply regrets his relationship with Epstein, which he says began in 2000 while he was at JPMorgan and ended in late 2015 – before he joined Barclays in December of that year.

Epstein was registered as a sex offender in 2008 after being convicted of soliciting a minor into prostitution. The New York Times reported that Staley visited Epstein in prison while he was serving his sentence.

Staley did not respond to a request for comment via Barclays on Monday.

questionable judgment

Staley joined Barclays when its board of directors rolled the dice and hired the American banking veteran — once likely as a likely successor to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon — to change his investment bank, which was lagging badly behind its Wall Street rivals.

After years of disappointing trading results in the division, the bank faced a major test when activist investor Edward Bramson built a stake of more than 6% and pushed to separate the investment bank from its retail business.

Staley grabbed his rifle and repelled the attack. His strategy was proven when volatile markets during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a jump in investment banking profits. Bramson admitted defeat in May of this year.

Insiders at Barclays, especially traders at its investment bank, generally revered Staley for bringing back some bragging as the bank took over Wall Street rivals on their land, after the relatively tough period of his predecessor, Anthony Jenkins.

Staley, who says he deeply admires his former boss, Damon, sought to emulate his mentor by hiring a group of JPMorgan lieutenants as he bet too much on investment banking at a time when British rivals were in retreat.

He worked at the US bank for 34 years, climbing positions to lead his own bank, asset management unit and later headed up his investment bank before leaving in 2013 to join a hedge fund after being sidelined in a management reshuffle.

Staley’s rule was called into question during his time at Barclays. Lawyers said he was fortunate to have escaped an investigation by regulators into his attempts to uncover a whistleblower who sent messages critical of a senior employee.

Regulators found the bank’s efforts to track down the whistleblower became a transatlantic effort, as Staley’s office garnered support from the lender’s security team and a US employee.

The organizers and Barclays fined Staley £1.1 million, but he escaped harsher penalties.

“This isn’t the first time Staley has faced negative headlines,” said Ross Mold, chief investment officer at AJ Bell. “Ultimately, his departure shows how important governance is, particularly for a high-profile company like Barclays facing the glare of political and regulatory pressure.”

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