- Tim Throsby, the former head of Barclays investment bank, had a tumultuous relationship with CEO Jes Staley and clashed over growth targets.
- Throsby left the bank after just two years last month after attacking “sacrosanct” profitability targets calling them unrealistic, according to the Financial Times.
- The ex-JPMorgan executive also managed to double the size of his offices in both London and New York and hung a photo of a provocative naked minotaur above his desk.
A battle at the top of Barclays over profitability targets was the likely cause of former executive Tim Throsby’s removal from the bank after he repeatedly clashed with CEO Jes Staley.
Throsby was head of Barclays investment banking unit until last month with the former JPMorgan executive removed after failing to meet profitability targets that were deemed “sacrosanct” by Staley, according to the Financial Times.
Results at Barclays investment bank have been under scrutiny, notably from activist investor Edward Bramson, but Throsby thought Staley’s demands for boosting returns on tangible equity (ROTE) to 9% this year and 10% in 2020 were unrealistic.
Barclays employees suggested that Staley and Throsby had clashed over the issue, if not from day one but day two, according to the Financial Times. “Tim fell out with Jes because he saw the return targets as unachievable, and that was taken as an act of treason,” the FT said, quoting someone familiar with the matter.
Throsby's management style also drew the ire of fellow management. The former executive doubled the size of his offices in New York and London during his time at Barclays and also "hung a provocative picture of a naked Minotaur above his desk in canary wharf," according to the Financial Times, citing sources who had seen it. The piece is thought to be a sketch originating from the work of award winning artist Nicola Hicks.
Barclays' investment banking unit has a large amount of equity dedicated to it, far more than its cards and UK retail banking business both of which have higher returns, something which has led to demands for change from Bramson in recent months.
Barclays CEO Staley held a townhall meeting in New York yesterday in a move to rally staff in the bank's global team, according to people familiar with the matter.