Barclays (BCS) will pay incoming Chief Executive James “Jes” Staley up to $12.6 million (8.24 million pounds) a year after appointing the former JPMorgan (JPM) investment bank boss to one of the most prominent posts in British business.
Staley will join Barclays as CEO at the start of December, the bank confirmed Wednesday, three weeks after media reports said he had been chosen and just needed regulatory approval.
That will make him one of the best-paid bank CEOs in Europe, ahead of HSBC’s Stewart Gulliver and UBS’s Sergio Ermotti, who were paid a little over $11 million each last year. For comparison, Wall Street’s top three CEOs—Goldman Sachs’s (GS) Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and Morgan Stanley’s (MS) James Gorman, all earned over $22 million last year.
Boston, Mass., born Staley, 58, faces a number of challenges at Barclays, including improving its reputation after a series of scandals, cutting costs to try and improve profitability, and deciding how big an investment bank it should keep in the wake of tougher regulations.
Staley said on Wednesday he planned to complete a restructuring of the investment bank.
“We will complete the necessary transformation and repositioning of the investment bank to a less capital-intensive model,” Staley said in a memo to staff.
Investors and analysts have said Staley should improve morale and set a clear strategy for the investment bank after years of uncertainty, but they warned he should not build it back up aggressively. The bank is now just over halfway through a three-year plan to cut 19,000 jobs, including 7,000 in the investment bank, and still faces litigation issues.
Barclays became one of the world’s biggest investment banks when it snapped up a large part of Lehman Brothers after its bankruptcy in 2008, but the architect of that deal, Bob Diamond, was forced out of his position as CEO soon afterwards, as part of a political backlash against financial sector excesses which zeroed in on Diamond’s and Barclays’ roles in the LIBOR scandal.
Diamond, like Staley an American citizen, was replaced by Antony Jenkins, a Briton, in the hope that he would improve relations with government after a series of other notorious misconduct scandals in the domestic banking market, notably the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and interest-rate swaps. Jenkins was fired in July after failing to improve results fast enough.
Staley stressed Wednesday in his memo to staff that the bank needs to respect the role of regulators.
“We must…complete the cultural transformation of the group. There can be no retreat from becoming a values-driven organization which conducts itself with integrity at all times,” he said.
Barclays said Staley’s annual pay will consist of a salary of 1.2 million pounds, a role-based “allowance” of 1.15 million pounds in shares, a cash allowance of up to 400,000 pounds and up to 5.5 million pounds in annual bonus.
Staley will be granted about 1.9 million pounds of Barclays’ shares to compensate for an unvested share award granted by JPMorgan. He will also receive standard benefits including medical cover, life assurance and relocation costs. His predecessor Jenkins had worked without a bonus for two years, before collecting a total package of 5.5 million pounds in 2014.
Staley, a keen yachtsman, spent 34 years at JP Morgan, ultimately rising to run its asset management and investment bank businesses. He had at onetime been tipped as a successor to Jamie Dimon, but was sidelined after a management reshuffle in 2012, after which he left to join hedge fund firm BlueMountain Capital Management. He made the shortlist when Barclays last looked for a CEO three years ago.
—Reuters contributed to this report.