Barclays Investment Bank head retires

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Barclays Plc's Rich Ricci, the head of investment banking and one of the last members of former Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond's management team, will retire as the securities unit refocuses on the US.

Ricci, 49, will be replaced by Eric Bommensath and Tom King, 52, as co-CEOs of corporate and investment banking in May, the London-based bank said in a statement today. Skip McGee has been named head of Barclays Americas business, the bank said.

"The market will see this as an inevitable and appropriate piece of transitioning," said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec Plc in London. "Few tears will be shed and the reshuffle will be broadly welcomed."

Diamond and Chief Investment Officer Jerry Del Missier resigned after Barclays was fined 290 million pounds ($319 million) in June for rigging the London interbank offered rate.

CEO Antony Jenkins, who replaced Diamond in August, is seeking to rein in pay and boost profits to shareholders to help restore investor confidence in the wake of the Libor scandal and other regulatory mis-steps.

"Barclays's business in the Americas is of critical strategic importance," the firm said in the statement. "Already the largest source of income outside of the UK, it represents strong growth potential. There is a clear need for even more effective execution of Barclays's operations in the region."

DEBT CRISIS

The firm is taking advantage of better investment banking conditions in the U.S. compared with Europe, which have slowed because of the regional debt crisis. The bank acquired the U.S. operations of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008.

Fees from arranging mergers, equity, bond and syndicated loan sales climbed 16 percent in the U.S. to $8.9 billion in the year to March 18, according to data compiled by New York-based research firm Freeman & Co. Fees fell 15 percent to $3.4 billion in Western Europe during the same period, the data show.

Ricci, who received 5.7 million shares valued at 17.6 million pounds when they vested in March, will get a year's salary of 700 000 pounds though he won't receive a severance payment.

Tom Kalaris, head of Barclays's wealth-management division, will also retire and Peter Horrell will take interim charge of the unit, the bank said.


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