Sherborne Investors, the vehicle of activist investor Edward Bramson, is in talks with Barclays (LON:BARC) over the search of a new chair, the fund has said. Sherborne snapped up a little over five percent in the blue-chip lender earlier this year and has been pushing for an overhaul of the group’s investment banking business.
Barclays’ share price has fallen deep into the red in London this morning, having given up 1.69 percent to 189.86p of 08:23 BST. The shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.57 percent lower at 7,731.94 points.
Sherborne seeks role in chair search
Sherborne Investors revealed in its interim report that it was engaging with Barclays concerning several issues, including the group’s “search process for and mandate of a new chairman”. The activist investor is also talking to the group about its capital allocation, quality of earnings, capital adequacy, and cost structure.
“The Investment Manager believes that addressing these matters could improve Barclays’ financial strength and its long-term competitive position,” Sherborne said in the statement, adding that it intended “to continue its dialogue with Barclays for as long as it appears to be appropriate to do so”.
‘Not getting rid of me yet’
The Times noted in its coverage of the news that Sherborne is Barclays’ second largest shareholder, potentially giving Bramson considerable clout in the search for a successor to John McFarlane, who joined the FTSE 100 group in April 2015.
Reuters meanwhile reported that MacFarlane had told shareholders at Barclays’ annual meeting in May that he had asked the chair of lender’s nominations committee to prepare for his eventual departure, while adding that he was not poised to leave.
“You are not getting rid of me yet,” he told the meeting, following speculation he could leave the bank soon.