Jenkins vs Jenkins: The battle for the soul of Barclays
One is a dashing financier whose Arab deal-making has landed the bank in hot water. The other is the safe pair of hands charged with restoring its reputation
If Roger Jenkins epitomises the old Barclays, the business is desperately hoping that Antony Jenkins will become the face of the new as the beleaguered bank battles to restore a reputation that has been plumbing the depths after a string of scandals.
The two men might share the same surname but their image couldn't be further apart. Unfortunately, for Jenkins Antony, the legacy of the deal constructed by Jenkins Roger, is likely to haunt him for some time as he begins life as the bank's new chief executive.
Roger, works for a Brazilian investment bank and now advises some of the world's richest sovereign wealth funds having left Barclays some time ago, was the high profile financier who saved the bank from having to go cap in hand to the Government during the height of the financial crisis in 2008.
The Middle Eastern guru was once Britain's highest paid banker, reputed to be on a salary of as much as £75m. A confidant of the Qatari royal family, it was the contacts he developed in the Middle East that the bank turned to during the credit crunch as the bank scrambled to avoid a Government bail out that it feared would stymie its ambitions to join the premier league of global mega banks.
The financing came in two tranches – an initial £4.5bn raised in June 2008 and a further £7bn in November. Many shareholders baulked at the generous terms offered to the Qataris and their partners; Sumit-omo Mitsui in the June 08 deal and Manchester City's Sheikh Mansour in November. But the deals made Roger Jenkins the toast of the City. Nobody else could have done it.
Heavyweight financiers like Mr Jenkins typically shun the spotlight but he couldn't seem to help finding his way into it, moving from the City pages to the gossip columns. As such he was typical of the brash, high profile executives dominating the bank.
Mr Jenkins' Bosnian ex-wife Diana, who grew up amid the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, was regularly photographed out and about on the arms of various celebrities including the likes of Kid Rock and Justin Timberlake. The blonde businesswoman and "socialite" founded health drinks business "Neuro" which has a distribution deal with Pepsi. When the two split last year he agreed to give her half his £300m fortune.
While Mr Jenkins didn't appear to share his wife's appetite for the celebrity circuit, he was soon generating his own headlines having forged a relationship with Elle Macpherson, the Australian supermodel turned businesswoman and TV host.
The deal that Roger Jenkins is so closely associated with is now attracting the attention of the legal authorities, with the Serious Fraud Office following the Financial Services Authority in launching an investigation. Handling the fallout from that will be one of the less welcome parts of Antony Jenkins' job.
Portrayed as the acceptable face of banking, the most colourful thing anyone in the City could find to say about him yesterday was that he could "actually be very funny after a glass and a half of chardonnay".
Mr Jenkins has for several years now played the straight man amidst the big beasts dominating Barclays; people like Bob Diamond, Jerry del Missier and head of investment banking Rich Ricci, the only member of the North American triumverate still in a job.
Antony Jenkins got his first break in the City from David Buik, the legendary City commentator who now works at financial bookie Cantor Index. In the early 1980s Mr Buik was working for money broker London Deposit Agencies. The firm was looking to add a little Oxbridge gloss to its rough and ready collection of traders.
He didn't last long. It takes a particular type of person to be able to pick up the phone and hustle for deals. Mr Jenkins wasn't it and he recognised that himself, swiftly departing for a job as a management trainee at Barclays. From there he scaled the greasy pole before moving to Citigroup where he ended up running the American bank's credit card business before being recruited back to run Barclaycard in 2006.
Mr Jenkins is bright, competent, and personable. He's even been described as the "nice guy" of banking. Regardless of such a friendly tag, he still has some sharp elbows. When Barclays hired Dutch banker Frits Seegers later in 2006 as head of retail from Citigroup, Mr Jenkins is said to have threatened to quit. Barclays bit the bullet and paid up to keep him, while Mr Seegers stayed out of his way. However that didn't work out so well and Mr Seegers left in 2009.
Whether Antony Jenkins can now reform the destructive culture that has built up at Barclays is debatable. This conservative family man will never appear in gossip columns, but he has been part of that culture for the last five years and was a close confidant of Bob Diamond when he latter was chief executive.
City sources say what matters now is the two or three people appointed below him. They argue that these people must be outsiders if the new broom at Barclays is to be credible. "He's very competent and is in the right place at the right time," said one. "But what they really now need is an chief operating officer from outside who can offer real leadership."
Antony & Roger: How they measure up
Current job Managing Partner, BTG Pactual (Brazil).
Career Brief spell at BP, Barclays management trainee, several years at Kleinwort Benson, rejoined Barclays.
Family Twice divorced, two children.
Interests Sprinting; won silver at World Student Games.
Salary £1.1m a year but could reach £8.6m with annual bonus, long-term share incentives, pension.
Current job Chief executive Barclays.
Career Retail banking after brief attempt at money broking.
Family Married, two children.
Interests Jazz/marathon runs.
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