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By Lawrence Delevingne
Oct 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s third largest bank Barclays PLC is close to naming former JPMorgan Chase banker Jes Staley as its new chief executive, a person with knowledge of the situation said on Monday.
Barclays offered the position to Staley, currently managing partner of U.S. hedge fund firm BlueMountain Capital Management, and he accepted the offer, according to the person.
A second person familiar with the matter said Staley was on a shortlist of potential successors, but could not confirm the appointment. Any appointment would also still depend on Staley getting approval from Britain’s financial regulators.
The appointment which was first reported by the FT is expected to be announced in the next two weeks, it said citing two people familiar with the matter. (on.ft.com/1L8hwt4)
Staley, who was on the shortlist when Barclays looked for a CEO in 2012, had left JPMorgan in early 2013 after 34 years at the bank to join Blue Mountain Capital. Staley ran JPMorgan’s investment bank and asset management business.
Picking Staley could see Barclays put renewed focus on its investment bank, which the bank has been shrinking in the past three years in an effort to cut costs and improve profitability.
Previous CEO Antony Jenkins, who was fired in July for losing the support of non-executive directors in a clash over style and the pace of the bank’s turnaround, had said the bank had to reduce the importance of the investment bank after a series of scandals, while changes in regulation also made many trading activities unprofitable.
Chairman John McFarlane, who has been running the bank in the interim since Jenkins’ exit, had said earlier in July that it will look at internal as well as external candidates to make an appointment.
An appointment of Staley would see a second former JPMorgan investment bank boss running a British bank, after Standard Chartered this year picked Bill Winters as its new CEO.
Barclays’ finance director Tushar Morzaria is another former JPMorgan executive, showing the growing influence of the US bank’s alumni in London.
Barclays PLC was not immediately available for comment. An external spokesman for BlueMountain declined to comment. (Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne, Sangameswaran S, Aurindom Mukherjee and Steve Slater; Editing by Andrew Hay)