LONDON (Reuters) - Rich Ricci, the boss of Barclays’ investment bank who collected $26 million (17 million pounds) in deferred bonuses last month, is leaving the scandal-hit bank as its new chief executive seeks to cut back executive pay and repair its image.
The American-born Ricci, a star performer at Barclays known for his love of horse racing, was a key lieutenant of Bob Diamond, the former chief executive who left Britain’s third largest bank last year after a Libor interest rate rigging scandal.
Tom Kalaris, head of Barclays’ wealth management and Americas business and the other remaining executive close to Diamond, will also leave.
New CEO Anthony Jenkins has been trying to put his stamp on the bank since he took over in August and pledged to reform its aggressive, high-risk reputation which led to Diamond and Ricci being pilloried in parts of the British media.
Speculation intensified that Ricci, 49, who is estimated to have earned at least 80 million pounds from his 19 years at Barclays, would go after Jenkins failed to publicly back him when he unveiled a new strategy in February.
“It’s part of the ongoing cultural revolution at Barclays,” said Simon Maughan, analyst at Olivetree Securities.
“There will be a few more Diamond acolytes edged out over the next 12 months, though obviously not as high profile.”
Ricci, who has one of the most memorable names in banking, is known for his immaculately cut green tweed suits, dark glasses and felt hat he wears to watch his top racehorses compete.
British people angered by large “fat cat” executive pay packets in tough economic times derided the naming of one his horses Fatcatinthehat after a newspaper profile of Ricci headlined “Who’s the fat cat in the hat?”
More criticism greeted his sale of shares worth more than 17 million pounds last month straight after receiving them as part of previous deferred bonuses or long-term awards.
British opposition Labour member of parliament John Mann urged him on Thursday to pay it back or give it to charity.
Ricci was among 25 people named by the High Court in London as listed in regulatory documents concerning the Libor investigation which referred to “internal political” pressure to set borrowing rates low to paint a rosier picture of the bank’s financial health.
He has said he had been a witness in the investigation but was cleared.
His pay does not have to be disclosed as he is not on the board, but the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List estimated he had a 54 million pound fortune and he has since received and sold more than 27 million pounds of shares.
Ricci joined Barclays in 1994 and led its acquisition of Lehman Brothers in 2008, becoming co-head of investment banking in 2009 and sole head of corporate and investment banking (CIB) last June.
Barclays said he will step down as CIB boss at the end of this month and retire from Barclays at the end of June, the same day that Kalaris, 57, retires.
Jenkins said the changes were part of his plan to streamline the bank, strengthen control and create a “clearer line of sight for myself” into the investment bank. There has long been criticism that business runs independently from the group.
The departures follow Jenkins’ decision to appoint Eric Bommensath and Tom King as co-chief executives of corporate and investment banking and Skip McGee as chief executive of Barclays Americas. They take effect from May 1.
Peter Horrell was named interim CEO of Wealth and Investment Management from the same date.
Barclays said neither Ricci nor Kalaris will receive any severance pay or be eligible for a 2013 bonus. They will get up to one year’s base salary, which are not disclosed but are estimated to be 700,000 pounds apiece. They will also be eligible for deferred long-term awards built up during their time at the bank.
McGee had been tipped for a promotion and is the most senior ex-Lehman Brothers banker at the bank, following Barclays’ takeover of the U.S. operations of Lehman in 2008.
He had been at Lehman since 1993, and was its head of global investment banking from 2002, after previous expertise advising energy and power firms.
Bommensath joined Barclays in 1997 from Bankers Trust and became head of fixed income, currencies and commodities in 2010.
King is currently head of the investment banking division, after joining from Citigroup in 2009.
All three will be tasked with making Barclays one of the global powers in investment banking.
Jenkins plans to cut parts of the investment bank as part of his broader transformation plan to reduce risk-taking and lift profitability, but he has said the business remains core.
He is cutting 1,800 jobs in corporate and investment banking but is not going as far as rivals such as UBS or Royal Bank of Scotland, and signalled he intends to be challenge leading powers Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.
“It’s a competitive market out there and they (the new co-CEOs) have their work cut out to get to where they want to be. But they start from a far better position than a lot of their competitors,” Olivetree’s Maughan said.
Additional reporting by Matt Scuffham; editing by Tom Pfeiffer and Philippa Fletcher