Barclays reshuffle (plus £2bn) will sooth investors

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The Independent Online

Barclays will try to sell its "Transform" programme to an army of small investors at London's Royal Festival Hall on Thursday, just a day after reporting £2bn of firstquarter profit.

The bank's meetings have been highly charged affairs in recent years, with investors inside the hall often as angry as demonstrators outside. But the company will be hoping that a management shake-up and adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.1bn before restructuring charges, will buy-off some of the dissent.

Last week, CEO Antony Jenkins sought to stamp his authority on the bank with a reshuffle which saw the "retirements" of Rich Ricci, the controversial investment bank head, and Tom Kalaris, the boss of Barclays Wealth.

They were key allies of former chief executive Bob Diamond. Eric Bommensath and Tom King were promoted to head the corporate and investment bank, with Hugh "Skip" McGee, a Texan former Lehman Brothers banker, running Barclays in the Americas.

The investment bank is expected to turn in £1.3bn profit before restructuring charges, or 59 per cent of the bank's earnings, illustrating its importance to the group.

Members of the new top team may appear at the AGM but won't occupy podium positions since none are on the board. They instead sit on Barclays' executive committee, which runs the bank.

A good set of results before the meeting should ease small investors' unhappiness as shares trod water in the early part of this year after a strong finish to 2012.

The Association of British Insurers has given the company an "amber top" over pre-emption rights – the right of existing investors to buy in when cash calls are undertaken. And the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum has urged its members to vote against the report and accounts.