LONDON (Reuters) - The Barclays (BARC.L) non-executive director responsible for former chief executive Bob Diamond’s 17 million pound final pay package, resigned on Wednesday, becoming the fourth boardroom figure to quit this month.
Alison Carnwath, who headed the bank’s remuneration committee, cited personal reasons for her departure, which will increase pressure on the bank to bolster its depleted board. Chief Executive Bob Diamond and Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier quit in the fallout from the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal while Chairman Marcus Agius has also agreed to leave.
“I’ve got a lot on my plate and Barclays takes up an increasing amount of my time,” Carnwath, a 20-year veteran of investment banking, told Reuters from her home in Devon, south west England.
Speaking to Reuters following the announcement, Carnwath said she had made the decision to quit because of the heightened demands of the role in the wake of the Libor affair.
Carnwath denied that there were any tensions between her and Agius despite reports they had clashed over the payment to Diamond of a 2.7 million pound bonus.
“Not at all. Marcus and I are on very good terms. He was a little disappointed,” Carnwath, who joined the board in August 2010, said.
The 59-year-old is one of the highest-profile women in London’s financial community and has built a reputation for being a formidable, uncompromising boardroom presence.
After leaving Reading University in 1975 with a degree in Economics and German, she began her career as an accountant at Peat Marwick Mitchell, later KPMG, and later became the first female director of J Henry Schroder Wagg & Co, the investment banking division of Schroders.
Carnwath, who holds a myriad of non-executive roles, was criticised by investors earlier this year for her role on the remuneration committees at Barclays and hedge fund Man Group (EMG.L), where shareholders revolted over executive pay plans.
A fifth of Barclays’ investors voted against her re-election after she backed Diamond’s pay and almost one-third of Man Group shareholders failed to back her.
As late as Tuesday, Barclays had included Carnwath’s name on a committee to which veteran lawyer Anthony Salz will report findings from a review of the bank’s culture and practices following the interest rate rigging scandal.
Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Erica Billingham and Mike Nesbit