What Barclays’ investment bankers really thought of Antony Jenkins

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Anthony Jenkins

Barclays’ outgoing chief executive, Antony Jenkins, was not a popular person at its investment bank. Now that Jenkins is leaving Barclays, the true extent of this unpopularity is becoming apparent.

We learn, for example, that Jenkins had some denigratory nicknames within Barclays: he was referred to as the ‘The Wet Handshake.’ He was like a neglectful parent: salespeople who were excited at spending time with him ‘visiting clients on the east coast of the UK’ found that Jenkins actually spent most of his time staring at his Blackberry talking in monosyllables. We learn that Jenkins misread his relationship with John McFarlane, the man who ousted who him, and whom Jenkins considered “a special chum” after they sat together on the advisory board at the Cranfield School of Management.

Most damningly, we learn that Jenkins was disliked by Tom King, the head of Barclays’ investment bank. The Financial Times says the tension between the two men was ‘almost unbearable.’ “You wouldn’t want to be in the same room with them,” one Barclays insider told the paper.

It was this dysfunction with King that was Jenkins’ death knell. Unhappy with and unconfident in Jenkins’ strategy for slashing the investment bank, the FT says King threatened to resign. McFarlane then said to have intervened until Jenkins backed down. Now he’s out. If the FT’s account is correct, the outlook for Barclays’ investment bank under its new protective ‘executive chairman’ may not be so gloomy after all.

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Analyst Ruse (WSJ) 

As a joke, analysts covering the bank would sometimes ask Mr. Jenkins tough questions about numbers at the bank that they knew he couldn’t answer.

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“When a major financial utility, a major airline, a major newspaper and a major Zero Hedge all shut down due to computer problems on the same day, I for one stock up on canned goods and ammunition.”

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