Barclays' Grimstone Steps Down After 3 Years in Senior Roles

(Bloomberg) -- Gerry Grimstone, one of Barclays Plc’s most senior bankers, is leaving the British firm unexpectedly after three years.

“I will be concentrating on my public sector activities in the U.K., my work with Deloitte in Europe and globally, my work in the Gulf, India, China and elsewhere in Asia-Pacific,” Grimstone said in a statement Friday. He’ll leave at the end of this month.

Grimstone’s surprise departure means Barclays now has three seats to fill on its board. Earlier this week, the bank’s annual report disclosed that Dambisa Moyo and Reuben Jeffery have opted not to stand for re-election at the annual general meeting in May.

Grimstone, 69, sits on Barclays’s board and also chairs Barclays Bank Plc, which houses its investment bank and other businesses outside of British retail banking. He’ll be replaced in that role by Nigel Higgins, the bank’s incoming chairman.

The Oxford-educated banker spent much of his time at Barclays as deputy chairman. Grimstone, who recently gave up the chairmanship at Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, is a former U.K. civil servant and worked for more than a decade at Schroders Plc.

Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley said “he is deeply grateful” to Grimstone for his contribution to the turnaround of the corporate and investment bank, which is at the center of the CEO’s strategy and one of the biggest bugbears of activist investor Edward Bramson.

Bramson, whose Sherborne vehicle holds 5.5 percent of Barclays stock, is seeking shareholder approval in May for his attempt to take a board seat at the bank. Staley said when the group reported results Thursday that the board will recommend investors vote against Bramson’s proposal.

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