Barclays Is Said to Cut Up to 100 Senior Investment Bankers

(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc is eliminating as many as 100 senior staff at its investment bank as the unit’s chief, Tim Throsby, overhauls the underperforming division, according to people familiar with the decision.

The cutbacks will fall mainly at the managing director and director levels and are evenly split between Europe and the U.S., said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process hasn’t been finalized. Employees in the banking division, which raises debt and advises companies on mergers and strategy, are being informed this week, with reductions to the markets side of the unit, which houses fixed-income and equity traders, to start next week, they said.

An official for the bank declined to comment.

The restructuring comes as Throsby, backed by Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley, encourages the investment bank to take more risks and recapture market share after years of retrenchment and dwindling profitability. Throsby has pledged to reignite “commercial zeal” within the business and warned staff he’ll sharpen divisions in bonuses this year, boosting pay for top performers while reducing it for those in the bottom half, Bloomberg News reported in November.

Staley has repeatedly said he wants to keep a “bulge-bracket” investment bank capable of competing with the best on Wall Street and told his critics in October “you cannot cut yourself to glory, and those that have tried to do that will ultimately fail.” The reductions are not of the same scale as two years ago, when the firm closed offices in seven Asian countries, Brazil and Moscow, eliminating 1,200 jobs in the process.

Staley has authorized the recruitment of numerous, and costly, high-profile hedge-fund traders, and under Throsby, the company plans to shift resources from corporate lending to trading activities where the returns, and risks, are higher. Areas Throsby has earmarked for growth include leveraged finance, distressed debt trading, electronic foreign exchange and equities platforms, and corporate derivatives.

Investors are impatient to see evidence that CEO Staley’s promised turnaround is working, particularly after the share price slid 12 percent in the past 12 months. In the third quarter, revenue from trading stocks, bonds and currencies fell 31 percent, the worst markets performance in Staley’s two-year tenure.

On Thursday, the shares traded up 0.7 percent to 199 pence at 9:19 a.m. in London trading.

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