Sherborne Targets Barclays

Ali Saribas comments to Iuri Strata from Activist Insight regarding the latest revelations of a government investigation into CEO Jes Staley's links to Jeffrey Epstein 06 March 2020 Sherborne Targets Barclays

Ali Saribas commented to Iuri Struta from Activist Insight regarding Edward Bramson’s latest attack on Barclays after revelations of a government investigation into CEO Jes Staley’s business links to financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison while awaiting trial for child sex trafficking.

For Bramson, as highlighted by Activist Insight, the investigation came at the right time, just before the annual meeting, allowing him to shift the narrative from Barclays’ investment banking unit’s low return on tangible equity (ROTE), an argument that failed to convince shareholders change was required last year, to the more headline-grabbing relationship between Staley and Epstein. ESG (environment, social and governance)-conscious funds might be more susceptible to Staley’s ethics than his performance, and Bramson is trying to force their hand.

Ali Saribas commented that “As investors focus a lot on corporate culture and gender equality, having a person leading an organization that allegedly had links with Jeffrey Epstein does not position him in a positive light in terms of character/judgement,” and “could prompt investors to vote against his re-election due to fears about reputational damage and the distraction from the investigation”.

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