Barclays activist investor submits application to join board

Activist investor Edward Bramson is planning to muscle his way on to the board of Barclays at the lender’s next shareholder meeting.

Mr Bramson’s investment vehicle Sherborne Investors said that it has submitted a resolution to Barclays to be considered at the annual general meeting on May 2 to appoint him to the board of directors.

Through Sherborne, New-York based Mr Bramson has built a 5.5% stake in Barclays to become one of the bank’s biggest shareholders.

The lender’s other big investors include BlackRock, Qatar Investment Authority, and Capital Group.

Mr Bramson is ramping up pressure on the lender to curtail its investment arm and increase returns for investors, putting him at loggerheads with Barclays boss Jes Staley who is seeking to bolster Barclay’s investment banking division to rival the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

In a letter to Sherborne’s investors last month, Mr Bramson said that he would seek a “shareholder vote to make changes in the composition of the board” after he previously failed to secure a seat on Barclays’ board.

Messrs Bramson and Staley were set to meet on March 12 in New York, before Barclays’ annual general meeting in May.

However, it is unclear if this meeting will go ahead.

Mr Staley said in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he had a “reasonable engagement” with Mr Bramson, but that the corporate raider is yet to reveal his strategy for the lender.

This was echoed by outgoing chairman, John MacFarlane, who previously said Mr Bramson has “made some critical points” but that he “hasn’t come up with a solution”.