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Barclays' New CEO Appointment Is Not Without Risk

Morningstar analysts are pleased with appointment of Antony Jenkins but will be keeping a close eye out in case his inexperience in investment banking becomes a hindrance

Erin Davis 30 August, 2012 | 5:30PM

Barclays (BARC) announced Thursday that it has appointed Antony Jenkins as its new chief executive officer. The announcement follows the appointment earlier this month of David Walker as chairman. Jenkins led the group's retail and business banking division and has been a member of the executive committee since 1999.

We're pleased with this appointment but note that it is not without risk. Investment banking is a complex business in which Jenkins has little experience.

Overall, we're pleased with this appointment but note that it is not without risk. Together, we think Walker and Jenkins project a credible and much-needed change in Barclays' corporate culture. Former CEO Bob Diamond's often brash demeanour exacerbated negative public and political sentiment towards the bank, in our opinion. We think Jenkins, with his roots in retail banking, will help to scale back risk-taking in the group's investment bank. Moreover, we think he is likely to scale back on investment banking and refocus the group on its retail and corporate banking businesses. We'll keep a close eye out, however, for signs that Jenkins is having trouble managing the investment bank—a complex business in which he has little experience. We think Jenkins is likely to lean heavily on lieutenants and on Walker's experience in investment banking as he gets to know the business.

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About Author

Erin Davis  is a senior banking analyst for Morningstar.