© Reuters. The INVESTOR ACTIVIST SHERBORNE entered THE CAPITAL OF BARCLAYS
by Dasha Afanasieva and Sinead Cruise
LONDON (Reuters) – The fund Sherborne Investors, which is managed by the investor activist Edward Bramson, has taken a 5% stake in Barclays (LON:BARC), an initiative welcomed by shareholders, who hope that it will lead to a reorganisation of the british bank.
Barclays is under pressure to improve its profits, while the strategy put in place since 2015 by Jes Staley, its director-general, and of focusing on the bank’s investment bears little fruit.
The institution, which announced on Monday a series of changes in its management team for reasons of regulation, is struggling to compete with its great rival the united states.
According to a source with knowledge of the case, the fund has met leaders of Barclays after the publication of disappointing results published by the bank last month.
“Like other shareholders, Barclays will continue the dialogue with Sherborne and welcome him as a shareholder”, said the british bank in a press release.
To 15: 30 GMT, the action Barclays wins 4,01% to 217,9 pence, its highest level since the end of April 2017 and one of the highest increases in the index broad european Stoxx 600 index, which lost 0,76% in the same time. Sherborne takes 2.35 per cent.
The fund activist, which describes itself as an investment company that aims to straighten the enterprises, has raised 700 million pounds in entering the stock Exchange last year.
According to a document exchange, Sherborne has 1.94% of the shares in Barclays, the rest of its 5% stake in the share capital of the bank is held through derivatives.
“THIS WON’T HURT AT ALL”
Last week, shareholders of Barclays have told Reuters that Jes Staley still had a year to deliver on its promise of making the investment bank a source of profit that is able to help the bank to withstand the downturns of the cycles, without which they would require a review of the activities of the bank.
“This won’t hurt at all,” said one of the 40 principal shareholders of the bank, welcoming the support lent by Edward Bramson to their questioning of the performance of Jes Staley to the levels of costs and profits.
“It will be interesting to see exactly what they want to see them do differently or bring to the fore (…), he selects very carefully its targets,” said a shareholder.
The returns in the investment bank have continued to disappoint despite the reversal in the favorable market conditions, which has led some shareholders to attach to Jes Staley a target date for reaching an improvement.
“It seems that Barclays has had several meetings with Sherborne but we do not know the details of his plans,” write analysts at KBW in a note.
“In our opinion, there is clearly a significant opportunity for value creation emerge to the shareholder of a change of direction,” said the middleman, who qualifies Barclays target perfect for an investor activist.
The bank, the title of which is included in the FTSE 100 index, is also struggling with an investigation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on the role of Jes Staley in an attempt to unmask a whistleblower.
(Juliette Rouillon for French service, edited by Bertrand Boucey)