Barclays Chairman Eyes Life After Libor
The departing chairman of Barclays is placing himself on a potential collision course with some of the City's most powerful investment institutions as he sets his sights on landing another heavyweight corporate job.
I understand that Marcus Agius, who steps down as Barclays' chairman at the end of this month, has told friends and colleagues in recent weeks that the Libor-rigging scandal and subsequent boardroom upheaval at the bank will not deter him from seeking another major company chairmanship.
Mr Agius is not yet thought to be in detailed discussions about another role. His prospective interest in taking one will, however, provoke a strong reaction from City shareholders angered by the events at Barclays which triggered his resignation.
A respected former investment banker at Lazard, Mr Agius resigned from Barclays just days after the bank's £290m fine for Libor-rigging. He remained on the board for several months following the effective ousting of Bob Diamond, Barclays' chief executive, and played a role in the selection of both Sir David Walker as the bank's new chairman and Antony Jenkins as Mr Diamond's successor.
When he took over as Barclays' chairman in January 2007, Mr Agius had a pedigree as a blue-chip boardroom figure, having chaired BAA, the airports operator, until its sale to Ferrovial of Spain.
Relations with major institutional investors had deteriorated even before the Libor scandal erupted three months ago, however.
Many Barclays shareholders had expressed profound unease over the bank's pay policies and the approach to remunerating Mr Diamond, as well as a series of run-ins with regulators about corporate taxes and other regulatory issues.
Although Mr Agius avoided a sizeable protest vote from shareholders at Barclays' annual meeting in April, some investors had begun discussing their desire to see him replaced by next year's AGM.
Following his resignation from Barclays, Mr Agius also stepped down as chairman of the British Bankers' Association, leaving a vacancy which has not yet been filled.
A number of FTSE-100 companies, including Rolls-Royce, the aerospace group, RSA, the insurer, and London Stock Exchange Group are expected to recruit new chairmen by the end of next year, although it is unclear whether Mr Agius would be interested in any of these roles specifically.
Mr Agius and Barclays both declined to comment.