Activist Bramson Steps Up Push for Barclays Board Seat

Data : 05/02/2019 @ 18:02
Fonte : Dow Jones News
Titolo : Sherborne Investors (guernsey) B Limited (SIGB)
Quotazione : 9.0  0.0 (0.00%) @ 01:00
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Activist Bramson Steps Up Push for Barclays Board Seat

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By Margot Patrick 

Activist Sherborne Investors has stepped up its campaign for a sweeping strategy shift at Barclays PLC, applying for a place on the bank's board for Sherborne Chief Executive Edward Bramson.

Sherborne said it submitted a resolution for Mr. Bramson's potential appointment which will be put to a vote at an annual shareholder meeting May 2. The move is likely to trigger a proxy fight between Mr. Bramson and Barclays' management and board of directors, who are expected to recommend shareholders vote down the resolution.

After Barclays previously rejected a request by Mr. Bramson to join the board with its blessing, Sherborne said it might put the matter to shareholders. Sherborne's approximately 5.5% stake in Barclays gives it the right under U.K. corporate law to propose resolutions such as appointing or removing board directors. For Mr. Bramson to join the board, more than half of voting shareholders would have to approve the resolution.

A Barclays spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment.

Since disclosing a stake in Barclays in March 2018, Sherborne has lobbied the bank's board to consider a strategic shift and shrink its markets business and investment banking. In a December letter to shareholders in a London-listed Sherborne fund, Mr. Bramson said Barclays has "legacy strategic weaknesses" in its corporate and investment banking arm, and said the bank's current capital structure makes it too risky.

In that letter, Mr. Bramson said he'd asked the board in September to appoint him as a director, but was turned down. Sherborne didn't elaborate on its reasons Tuesday for submitting the application for Mr. Bramson to join the board. A Barclays spokesman wasn't immediately available to comment.

Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley so far has dismissed Mr. Bramson's overtures as unnecessary. In October, Mr. Staley said it wasn't the right time to consider undertaking a fresh restructuring. Barclays has already exited some investment banking activities and portfolios in a yearslong effort to improve returns.

Mr. Bramson's aim, according to people familiar with the matter, is to "reform" Barclays in the style of Swiss competitors UBS Group AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, which narrowed their investment banking operations to focus on more stable businesses. Through his Sherborne business, Mr. Bramson has previously overseen successful board shakeups and strategic changes at U.K. investment companies F&C Asset Management PLC and Electra Private Equity PLC.

Write to Margot Patrick at margot.patrick@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2019 11:47 ET (16:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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