Jes Staley: why did Barclays CEO quit, Jeffrey Epstein link explained, and who is new boss CS Venkatakrishnan?

Barclays’ former head of global markets, CS Venkatakrishnan, will step in to replace Staley as CEO with immediate effect

Barclays boss Jes Staley has quit following the preliminary findings of an investigation into his role as private banker to disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

A report by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is due next month, with a first draft sent to Staley last Friday.

After receiving the report, which looked into whether the bank and Staley played down his relationship with Epstein, the chief executive quit the bank and said the conclusions will be contested.

Here is everything you need to know.

Why has Staley stepped down?

It is understood the early draft suggests that Staley played down his role in Epstein’s affairs while acting as his private banker in a previous job.

Barclays said: “It should be noted that the investigation makes no findings that Staley saw, or was aware of, any of Epstein’s alleged crimes, which was the central question underpinning Barclays’ support for Staley following the arrest of Mr Epstein in the summer of 2019.”

The bank’s board said it is “disappointed at this outcome” but details of the report have not been published.

Staley will get a £2.5 million payoff and continue to receive other benefits for a year, the bank said.

He will also be eligible to receive repatriation costs to the US and could receive more cash, although no decision has been made.

The FCA and PRA declined to comment.

What was Staley’s relationship with Epstein?

Staley has previously said he “deeply regrets” his relationship with Epstein, after acting as his private banker while working for JP Morgan, and continuing for seven years after the financier was convicted of sex offences.

His last contact with Epstein had been in the autumn of 2015, shortly before he joined Barclays, but not before he and his wife sailed to Epstein’s private island for lunch that year.

He said he had no contact with Epstein once he joined the bank in December 2015.

The FCA’s investigation was focused on a letter the company wrote to the watchdog following Epstein’s death in the US and subsequent reports of Staley’s relationship while running JP Morgan’s private bank for wealthy clients.

Who is new boss CS Venkatakrishnan and what is his salary?

Staley has been replaced with immediate effect by new CEO, CS Venkatakrishnan, who up until now was head of global markets for the bank.

Barclays said succession planning has been in place for some time and Venkatakrishnan had been identified as the preferred candidate for more than a year.

Venkatakrishnan has been with Barclays for five years and nine months, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to working as the head of global markets, he was the bank’s chief risk officer.

Previously, he was managing director at JP Morgan - a role he held for 21 years and seven months.

In his promoted position, he will be paid £2.7 million a year in fixed pay, made up of 50% cash and 50% Barclays shares, alongside a £135,000 pensions contribution.

The new boss could also receive an annual bonus of up to £2.5 million and long-term bonuses in shares worth up to £3.8 million.

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