It’s going to take us a very long time to get over Bob Diamond. The Boston-bred, Hov-acquainted, spunky-daughter-having former CEO of Barclays still haunts our dreams, despite that whole Libor-fixing mess that forced him to throw in the towel.
But the world moves on, and so, begrudgingly, do we all. Because today, the giant British bank named Antony Jenkins, its head of retail banking, to take Diamond’s old spot.
Jenkins, who will start his new gig immediately, is known for having an understated style and a nice-guy persona, and told Bloomberg the following in response to his appointment: “The challenges that confront investment banking as an industry are driven by regulatory change and the economic environment.”
While we might have hoped for a punchier Brit to be given Diamond’s old desk (Prince Harry, Adele, that blond kid from One Direction), we’ll admit that drama is probably not what Barclays needs right now. As CEO, Jenkins will have to put that whole Libor thing to rest, solve the bank’s myriad legal issues, and deal with a U.K.-based investigation related to fees it paid to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in 2008.
And he’ll have to do it, Bloomberg implies, without Wall Street’s blessing:
Jenkins “has been on the board, he’s knows [sic] what the bank’s been doing, he knows the strategy, but he’s never been a practicing investment banker,” Chris Wheeler, a London-based analyst at Mediobanca SpA with an outperform rating on the stock, said of Jenkins. “That will make the people in investment banking nervous, particularly in New York.”
So from all of us, Mr. Jenkins: Good luck. You’ll need it. Oh, and just curious, do your kids have Instagram?