Barclays has named JPMorgan’s Tim Throsby as head of its corporate and international division, filling a seat that has been empty for six months with another hire from the bank where group chief executive Jes Staley earned his stripes.
American Mr Staley took over as Barclays chief executive in late 2015 and has wasted little time in filling his bench with former colleagues from JPMorgan, where he spent more than three decades.
Previous JPMorgan hires include alumni Paul Compton, who was named as Barclays group chief operating officer in February, and CS Venkatakrishnan, who became Barclays chief risk officer earlier in the year.
Some Barclays bankers have expressed frustration at the mass JPMorgan hires in the past, though some of their own have also been promoted, including Joe McGrath, who recently became head of operations in the US.
Mr Throsby, 50, whose move was first reported by newswire Bloomberg, will fill an enlarged version of the role vacated by Tom King, who clashed with former chief executive Antony Jenkins over the future of the investment bank.
As well as heading the corporate and investment bank, which was Mr King’s domain, Mr Throsby will also head Barclays’ international business, giving him the whole business that sits outside the ringfenced bank Barclays is creating to protect UK deposits.
Mr Staley described his new hire as “an exceptionally talented and experienced professional” and said he would put those qualities to good use as Barclays completes its “structural changes”.
Shares in the bank were down 1 per cent by mid-afternoon, one of the bigger falls on a day when some European bank shares were generally down.
Mr Throsby said: “This is a tremendous time to be joining Barclays, and it will be a privilege to lead Barclays Corporate & International,” adding that he was looking forward to delivering “the returns shareholders deserve”.
The Australian banker, who won acclaim in his native country for leasing his family’s ancestral home from the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, is described as well respected and ambitious by former colleagues at JPMorgan, where he worked for six years including almost two when he overlapped with Mr Staley.
“He did a superb job running the equities business,” said one. “He knows the detail very well, he’s a guy who really understands the numbers . . . (and) he’s very straight-up.”
Mr Staley has announced a succession of cuts for the investment bank, including more than 1,200 job cuts and an exit from its cash equities business in Asia. The investment bank is now largely focused on its US and UK operations.
Barclays’ investment bank has outperformed peers so far this year, particularly in the first quarter. Still, market conditions are tough: equities revenues were down 31 per cent in the three months to June compared with a year earlier, as Americas revenues dipped.
The prospect of Brexit also creates headwinds for its UK business. As well as a potential fall-off in UK business, Barclays will also have to find an alternative way for its markets business to access EU markets if the UK cannot negotiate a “soft” exit.
Chris Wheeler, analyst at Atlantic Equities, said joining Barclays in difficult market conditions could be a benefit for Mr Throsby. “He’s not going to be under pressure from day one because the results are crap for everybody around Europe,” Mr Wheeler said. “It gives him time to get a few small victories.”
Chirantan Barua, analyst at Bernstein, said it was good that Mr Throsby did not have the “baggage” from the Lehmans franchise in Barclays’ US business and was not aligned to the bank’s European fixed income business.
“But (he) has a massive task at hand in a challenging environment both from an income basis as well as on capital where the US IHC (international holding company) will be a big challenge into next year,” Mr Barua added, referencing new US rules that will force banks to separately capitalise their US businesses and submit them for annual stress tests.
Mr Throsby has spent six years at JPMorgan, joining in April 2010 as global head of equity derivatives and head of Emea equities before being promoted to global head of equities in September 2012.
During his 29-year career he has also spent time at Macquarie, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Citadel. Most of his time has been on the equities side, a business that is smaller at Barclays than fixed income.
He holds an economics degree from the University of Sydney and began a law degree at Oxford university in 2010, which he has not yet completed, according to his profile on professional networking site LinkedIn.