Scottish Daily Mail

Victory for Barclays as activist ends bitter feud

- by Tom Witherow

BARCLAYS boss Jes Staley has emerged victorious from a threeyear battle with activist investor Edward Bramson.

Bramson’s fund Sherborne Investors wanted Staley to scale back the UK lenders’ investment banking division.

He also fought to unseat the Barclays chief over his long associatio­n with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

But Bramson, a British-born lawyer who held the third-largest stake in Barclays, struggled to gain traction with other investors.

The 70-year-old yesterday finally retreated, announcing it would sell its 6pc stake at an average price of 186p, a total of £1.9bn.

But that was less than the 200p a share Bramson paid when he first bought in during March 2018.

Banking analyst Ian Gordon said: ‘The war is over.’

When Bramson first invested Staley was under pressure to bolster profits after his expanded investment banking division failed to replicate returns from the High Street banking and credit card units.

But the pandemic boosted revenue from trading and deal-making, while retail banking suffered from increased loan provisions and lower consumer spending, allowing Staley to argue his strategy had been vindicated.

Sherborne said it had sold down its stake to pursue a new investment with ‘better returns’, although it did not identify the target. It added: ‘Business is not a science and so people of goodwill may, therefore, sometimes differ. In that spirit, Sherborne Investors expresses its most sincere wish that things will turn out well.’

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