(Bloomberg) — Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer C.S. Venkatakrishnan said his firm’s moves to shuffle top leaders inside its investment bank and focus on new areas of growth have contributed to higher-than-usual attrition among dealmakers in recent months.
Still, turnover in the division remains only slightly higher than usual, Venkatakrishnan said in a Bloomberg Television interview Monday. It comes after Barclays named two new global co-heads of investment banking and the firm decided to expand in Europe and build out businesses dedicated to sustainable companies as well as large private equity firms, he said.
“When you do that kind of organizational change, sometimes it has impacts,” Venkatakrishnan said. “We’re losing a few investment bankers, but not that much more than what is normal annual turnover.”
Venkatakrishnan in recent weeks has been trying to stem a bevy of departures in the firm’s investment bank. UBS Group AG alone has poached nearly a dozen of the firm’s top technology bankers, while others have left for Pickering Energy Partners and Jefferies Financial Group Inc.
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“This is the period, in the first few months of the second quarter, when people have been paid their bonuses — there’s a little bit of musical chairs,” Venkatakrishnan said. “It’s a time-honored tradition.”
Those departures could hinder the London-based lender’s ambitions to take investment-banking market share from rivals. As part of that push, the company appointed Taylor Wright and Credit Suisse Group AG veteran Cathal Deasy as its new investment-banking chiefs earlier this year.
Barclays has been focused on moving up the investment-banking league tables after beating back an activist shareholder’s push to shrink the Wall Street division, whose profits have at times propped up the firm’s domestic lender.
More recently, Barclays and rivals have been contending with a broader slowdown in dealmaking and capital-markets activities as CEOs around the world have been sidelined by volatility.
Here are other highlights from the interview:
- Venkatakrishnan said UBS Group AG’s acquisition of longtime rival Credit Suisse Group AG, which formally closed on Monday, stabilized the financial system because it no longer has to contend with a “slightly wobbly” global systemically important bank existing in its midsts.
- The CEO said he expects more regional banks in the US that are dealing with the same types of asset-liability mismatches that brought down the likes of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank will have to sell assets as part of “cleaning up their acts.”
- Barclays would like to grow its US credit-card business, Venkatakrishnan said. The bank has long offered cards through partners including JetBlue Airways Corp. and Gap Inc. Barclays is also looking to increase the market share of its payments arm in Europe as well as its wealth-management business.
—With assistance from David Westin.
(Updates with other highlights from the interview in bullet points.)