Tim Throsby, the new boss of Barclays’ investment bank, has been about since the start of this year. So, is Throsby behind Barclays’ recent appointment of one of banking’s big beasts in automation and offshoring?
We don’t know, but anyone at Barclays investment bank who’s sitting in London or New York doing a job that could a) just as easily be done in Mumbai, or b) just as easily be done by a computer, has reason to fear this month’s arrival of Leon Macpherson.
A self-proclaimed specialist in, ‘digital, cost reduction, operating model design, industrialisation, rightshoring and transformation planning,’ Macpherson is an ex-strategy consultant who likes to shake things up. He cut his teeth at Accenture, where he was, ‘banking Industralisation lead’ for EMEA. He’s spent the past four years running his own consultancy, Corum, of which Barclays was a client. Now he’s come in-house at the bank, and he’s done so as a managing director – suggesting big things are expected of him.
Macpherson’s arrival comes after Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley promised to “fix the bank.” Staley’s strategy at Barclays involves sharing operations across Barclays’ divisions and (in Staley’s words during the Q4 investor call), “building Barclays on a foundation of world class operations and technology.” From this perspective, Macpherson may well be Staley’s rather than Throsby’s fixer.
In light of Macpherson’s expertise as a “location strategist” it’s also tempting to think he might get involved in Barclays’ preparations for Brexit. This may not be a big job, though: Barclays’ declared Brexit plans simply involve shifting 150 people to Dublin.