Barclays boss Jes Staley reels as shareholder ditches its £600m stake in the bank
- US hedge fund Tiger Global’s decision to pull out risks harming Staley’s fight against activist investor Edward Bramson
- Tiger owned 2.5pc of Barclays, making it one of the largest shareholders
- It was seen as supportive of Staley’s efforts to build up its investment bank
A leading Barclays shareholder has ditched its £600 million stake in the bank – dealing a blow to boss Jes Staley as he battles a corporate raider.
US hedge fund Tiger Global’s decision to pull out risks harming Staley’s fight against activist investor Edward Bramson, who is seeking a seat on the board and a major overhaul at the lender.
But another major shareholder warned Bramson that he is heading for failure unless he sets out exactly what he hopes to achieve by getting a boardroom job.
A leading Barclays shareholder has ditched its £600 million stake in the bank – dealing a blow to boss Jes Staley (pictured) as he battles a corporate raider
Tiger owned 2.5pc of Barclays, making it one of the largest shareholders, and was seen as supportive of Staley’s efforts to build up its investment bank and take on Wall Street.
The hedge fund’s exit removes what could have been a valuable ally in the battle against Bramson, who has a 5.51 per cent stake in Barclays and has been deeply critical of the investment banking operation and is thought to want radical cutbacks.
Chris Ralph, chief investment officer at St James’s Place Wealth Management, said: ‘It weakens Jes Staley’s position as chief executive and means the discussion they will be having with Bramson will be more challenging.’
Veteran City commentator David Buik, of trading firm Core Spreads, said: ‘This waters down support for Barclays’ current board. I don’t think it augers terribly well.’
Tiger started reducing its stake last summer before ditching it entirely earlier this year.
The hedge fund was founded by 43-year-old Chase Coleman (pictured)
The hedge fund was founded by 43-year-old Chase Coleman, a trader who previously worked for legendary New York investor Julian Robertson. Robertson ran hedge fund Tiger Management, and his proteges have become known as ‘Tiger Cubs’.
Meanwhile, Bramson faces calls from top shareholders to lay out his strategy in detail, after hinting he would like to see a radical shake-up of the lender’s prized investment bank. Connecticut-based Bramson and his fund Sherborne have forced the bank to hold a vote at its annual meeting in May on whether he should join the board.
But a top shareholder in Barclays told the Mail they are deeply sceptical about the proposal because Bramson has said nothing public about what he would do with this power.
The shareholder said: ‘I’m hoping Ed comes out with what his ideas are – it’s an election for a board seat, and I’ve not seen his manifesto yet.
‘This is generating great newspaper headlines, but I’m not sure it’s the right thing for the bank.’
Sherborne and Barclays declined to comment.