Sir Gerry Grimstone to step down as chairman of Barclays’ investment arm

Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Barclays’ investment banking and international arm, is to step down from his position at the end of the month.

Sir Gerry had been viewed as a potential successor to group chairman John MacFarlane after he joined the board of the Barclays group as deputy chairman in 2016.

Mr MacFarlane is to be replaced by Rothschild & Co veteran Nigel Higgins who will also succeed Sir Gerry as chairman of Barclays Bank from March 1.

Mr Higgins will assume chairmanship of Barclays group following the bank’s annual general meeting on May 2.

Barclays appoint Sir Gerry Grimstone
Sir Gerry Grimstone recently also stepped down as chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen (Standard Life/PA)

Sir Gerry said: “After 20 years sitting on the boards of a number of listed companies, and having recently stepped down from the chairmanship of Standard Life Aberdeen, it is an appropriate moment for a change.

He said he will concentrate on his public sector activities in the UK and his work with consultancy Deloitte in Europe, as well as his activities in the Gulf, India, China and the Asia-Pacific.

“There will doubtless be many other exciting public and private opportunities to pursue.

“I’m leaving Barclays in very good shape and I wish it very well for the future.”

Mr McFarlane said: “Sir Gerry has made an important contribution to Barclays, initially as group deputy chairman and later as chairman of Barclays Bank where he oversaw the establishment of the subsidiary board and governance arrangements, as well as being a senior colleague on the group board.”

Chief executive Jes Staley said: “I am deeply grateful to him for the support and counsel he has provided me personally, as well as for his immense contribution to the turnaround of our corporate and investment bank in particular.

“He has been a great steward of Barclays during his time on the board and I wish him huge success in his future endeavours.”

Jes Staley investigation
Barclays chief executive Jes Staley paid tribute to Sir Gerry Grimstone’s ‘immense contribution’ to the company (Debra Hurford Brown/Barclays/PA)

Barclays is currently under pressure from activist investor Edward Bramson, who is muscling his way on to the board, calling for the lender to curtail its investment arm and increase returns for investors.

Mr Bramson’s investment vehicle Sherborne Investors – through which the New York-based investor has built a 5.5% stake – has submitted a resolution to Barclays to be considered at the May AGM to be appointed to the board of directors.