Barclays Security Head Oerting Is Said to Depart After Absence

(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc head of group information security Troels Oerting will probably not return to the British lender after his leave of absence ends, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.

Oerting’s leave and eventual departure are unconnected with his role in the Jes Staley whistle-blower scandal, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about confidential personnel matters. Oerting was interviewed by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority several times over the past few months as part of an investigation into Chief Executive Officer Staley’s attempts to unmask an informant.

A spokesman for Barclays declined to comment, while Oerting didn’t respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Barclays reprimanded Staley in April after discovering he’d repeatedly tried to identify a whistle-blower, even after colleagues said it was inappropriate. The CEO asked Oerting, who led the group information security team, to track down the author and he sought assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Bloomberg News has reported.

Paul Gillen, the head of Barclays’s joint security operation centre, will take over Oerting’s job on an interim basis, said one of the people. Gillen is also a director of the Cyber Defence Alliance, a group of law enforcement agencies and banks with British operations that share information to help prevent hacking. Oerting, the former head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center, joined Barclays in February 2015.

‘Cyber Expert’

“Paul is by far the most talented, professional, hard working and dedicated cyber expert I have ever worked with,” reads a reference from Oerting on Gillen’s LinkedIn page. “Paul is not only a technical expert, a cyber crime expert and a great manager -- he is also an outstanding leader with a high degree of integrity.”

In the past few months, the FCA has interviewed Staley twice, as well as other officials including Mike Ashley, the Barclays board member who supervises whistle-blowing complaints and Chief Operating Officer Paul Compton, Bloomberg News has reported. The regulator expects to reach a final decision on Staley’s fate in December, two months later than the original October target indicated to the bank, people have said.

The controversy dates back to June 2016, when Barclays’ board received an anonymous letter raising concerns about one of Staley’s former JPMorgan Chase & Co. colleagues, Tim Main, Bloomberg News previously reported. The letters flagged issues of a personal nature about him and Staley’s role in dealing with those concerns at JPMorgan.

After learning about the letters, Staley made two attempts to discover who wrote them, enlisting Oerting in the second, despite being informed that it was inappropriate for him to do so after his first try.

While Staley may forfeit his entire 1.3 million-pound ($1.7 million) bonus, the board did not fire the CEO because it deemed he “honestly, but mistakenly, believed” his actions were permitted. Chairman John McFarlane has said it wouldn’t have been “just” to fire Staley over the issue, and cited his inexperience in a CEO role as a factor in the board’s thinking.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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