“The board has long been confident in Venkat’s capabilities"
US Indian banker CS Venkatakrishnan has been named the new CEO of Barclays, making him the first person of colour to hold that position.
He replaces Jes Staley, who stepped down over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein died in 2019 after taking his own life while awaiting trial on charges that he sex-trafficked underage girls.
In a statement on November 1, 2021, Barclays said it was made aware of the results of the probe by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
“In view of those conclusions, and Mr Staley’s intention to contest them, the board and Mr Staley have agreed that he will step down from his role as group CEO and as a director of Barclays.
“It should be noted that the investigation makes no findings that Mr Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Mr Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Mr Staley following the arrest of Mr Epstein in the summer of 2019.”
Mr Staley has now been replaced by CS Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, as CEO of the bank.
In an announcement to the stock exchange, Barclays said:
“The board has long been confident in Venkat’s capabilities to run the Barclays Group.”
Venkat had previously been Barclays’ chief risk officer.
The 56-year-old was born in Mysore, Karnataka, but is now based in New York.
He obtained his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in operations research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1994, Venkat joined banking giant JPMorgan Chase. He worked there for 22 years before joining Barclays in 2016.
Mr Staley had also worked at JPMorgan and worked alongside Venkat in March 2012, a crucial moment in the latter’s career.
Venkat had been just weeks into a senior risk-management job at the time when he warned of $6.3 billion worth of losses from dubious trades in London.
However, his concern was ignored by the risk officer overseeing trades.
But Venkat was right as a rogue trader nicknamed the ‘London Whale’ indeed cost the bank $6.2 billion in 2012.
When Mr Staley became Barclays CEO, CS Venkatakrishnan was one of the first people he hired.
In Venkatakrishnan’s note to Barclays’ 84,000 employees after the leadership changed hands, he said Staley has been his “manager, mentor, and friend for years”.
He plans to follow Staley’s strategy at the firm.
It has been reported that Barclays is offering Venkat a fixed pay of $3.7 million, half in cash and half in Barclays shares.
The banker will also be eligible for a bonus up to a maximum of 93% of his fixed pay and long term incentives up to 140% of fixed pay per year.