Barclays dealmaker McGee quits as U.S. head

Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:15pm EDT
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By Steve Slater

LONDON (Reuters) - Hugh 'Skip' McGee, one of the British bank Barclays' (BARC.L: Quote) highest earners, has quit as head of its Americas business, the bank saying he did not want to oversee the task of establishing a new holding company required under tougher U.S. rules.

The departure of the former Lehman Brothers dealmaker coincides with pressure on Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins to cut staff pay after shareholders last week rebelled against a decision to increase bonuses.

Jenkins said the bonus rise was needed to prevent an exodus of U.S. investment bankers, and McGee's exit is likely to raise concern that some of his former Lehman colleagues will join him.

Barclays said McGee had decided to step down due to the increased amount of time he will need to spend in the next two years on regulations, compliance, legal and operational issues.

The bank has to establish an intermediate holding company by July 2016, which imposes more stringent rules on the U.S. arms of foreign banks and will require them to hold more capital.

Joe Gold, currently head of client capital management, will take over as the head of Barclays' Americas business from May 1. Barclays said the role had been restructured and Gold would report to the co-CEOs of Barclays' corporate and investment banking operations, Tom King and Eric Bommensath.

Barclays hired Gold in 2001 from the failed Enron energy trading business to help lead its expansion into commodities, and he ran its European power and gas trading in London before moving to New York to develop its U.S. commodities business.

Jenkins said Gold understood the fast-changing regulatory landscape and would be helped by non-executive director Stephen Thieke, who previously worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to set up the holding company.   Continued...

CEO of Barclays Americas Hugh "Skip" McGee III dons a rain jacket during the second round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach, California, February 7, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Fiala