The Herald

Barclays Wealth in crisis talks with disgruntle­d staff

- TIM SHARP CITY REPORTER tim.sharp@theherald.co.uk

BARCLAYSWe­alth managing director Mark Kibblewhit­e was yesterday locked in talks with a group of disgruntle­d private client managers threatenin­g to quit the company’s Edinburgh office.

Since the former Gerrard Investment Management business was acquired by Barclays Wealth five years ago it has suffered a wave of resignatio­ns by stockbroke­rs complainin­g they are being put under pressure to sell more products and are not able to build sustained client relationsh­ips.

For instance in 2006 seven of Gerrard’s Glasgow office team quit to establish a local branch of Smith & Williamson although Barclays Wealth maintains its business in the city is now in strong health and is adamant that the disgruntle­d Edinburgh group might yet stay.

A spokeswoma­n said: “We are in discussion with certain staff but nobody’s resignatio­n have been accepted. Nobody has left.”

Barclays, which paid South African company Old Mutual £210m for the business, has set about establishi­ng an operation which it believes can compete with traditiona­l private banks for wealthy clients, in particular entreprene­urs.

At the heart of its approach is the notion that modern clients must be offered more than equity portfolios. Barclays Wealth wants them to be able to access advice on issues ranging from yacht finance to growing the equity stakes in their businesses.

But this has met opposition from stockbroke­rs concerned they are under too much pressure to sell products.

One investment management source said of the Edinburgh group: “They do not like being owned by a bank. They do not like pushing products to their clients. They are being turned into relationsh­ip managers whereby their client base is not their own.”

One source of speculatio­n is that the disgruntle­d group may quit for Williams de Broe, part of the Evolution Group. Evolution declined to comment yesterday.

This would be quite a u-turn after the company pulled out of the capital barely two years ago.

 ??  ?? MARK KIBBLEWHIT­E: Facing prospect of managers leaving.
MARK KIBBLEWHIT­E: Facing prospect of managers leaving.

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