Barclays has named Sir David Walker as its next non-executive chairman. Walker, a respected financier and corporate governance expert who has been openly critical in his criticism of high salaries in the banking industry, will join the board in September and succeed Barclays’ outgoing chairman, Marcus Agius, in November.
“Barclays has a crucial role to play in ensuring that this country has a successful, well-governed banking industry,” Walker said. “My immediate priority, and critical to Barclays ongoing success, will be the appointment of a new chief executive officer [CEO] and I will be fully engaged in that process.”
Walker was formerly chairman of the predecessor organisation of UK regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and later became chairman of Morgan Stanley International, where he still plays an advisory role. Most recently, he headed a review into banking following the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008 and subsequent financial crisis and co-led the independent review of the report that the FSA produced into the failure of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in 2008, which necessitated a government rescue.
It is believed that despite his investment banking background, Walker will favour a retrenchment of Barclays’ ambitious investment banking strategy, which could involve reversing the extent of the group’s expansion in Asia and continental Europe.
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