Barclays on Thursday instigated its second high-level boardroom reshuffle in six months when the bank announced it had poached a Citigroup executive to head its global consumer and commercial banking operations.
The UK’s third-largest bank said Frits Seegers would join from Citigroup as chief executive of global retail and commercial banking on a package of at least £11.7m ($21.5m) over three years.
David Roberts, the highly respected chief executive of international retail and commercial banking, is to leave the bank where he started as a graduate trainee almost 23 years ago.
Gary Hoffman, chairman of UK banking, will become group vice-chairman covering areas like equality and diversity.
Mr Roberts, who last year led Barclays’ £2.6bn acquisition of a majority stake in South African bank Absa, is the second boardroom director to announce he is leaving the bank in the past six months. Roger Davis left as head of UK banking last December.
The reshuffle comes after the sweeping changes being made at Barclays by John Varley, chief executive.
Mr Varley wants to bring the competitive global ethos and performance criteria of Barclays’ investment bank into more sluggish areas of Barclays such as the retail bank.
On Thursday, Mr Varley said the bank’s retail and commercial banking interests and card businesses needed “a single point of strategic control and direction”.
He called Netherlands-born Mr Seegers “one of the industry’s most successful, talented and proven leaders”.
Mr Seegers, who has spent 17 years at Citigroup, was most recently chief executive of Citigroup’s global consumer group covering retail operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
He is respected in the industry, with one former colleague calling him “tough and hands-on”. It is said every Citigroup branch in Germany had to send him a daily e-mail showing its performance figures. Mr Seegers’ remuneration includes £8.4m to compensate for the incentive scheme he would have received if he had remained at Citigroup. Mr Varley also paid tribute to Mr Roberts and said he would loved to have kept him at the group.
Mr Roberts, who is thought to have turned down other roles at the bank and is still considering what to do next, is likely to receive a year’s salary – about £600,000 – in compensation.
Analysts said the appointment of Mr Seegers might suggest Barclays could make more acquisitions overseas.
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