Barclays To Hand Out £32m In Shares To Bosses
Barclays will say on Tuesday it is handing out approximately £32m in share awards to its top dozen executives, just weeks after igniting a fresh pay row by hiking its bonus pool despite a fall in profits.
Sky News has learnt the share bonanza, which will be disclosed in a stock exchange announcement, will be about 20% lower than the sum paid out a year ago, which it hopes will appease investors angered by recent revelations about remuneration at the bank.
The equivalent announcement last year sparked a separate row because it was made on the day of the Budget, which prompted some observers to accuse Barclays of attempting to conceal the news.
That was an accusation denied by the bank, which said the timing of the disclosures was set a year in advance.
The precise value of the share awards announced on Tuesday will be dependent on the exact number of shares distributed to the dozen executives, who also include Tushar Morzaria, Barclays' new finance director.
A source said on Monday the final number could vary slightly but that £32m was "in the right ballpark".
In the case of chief executive Antony Jenkins, he will receive roughly £3.8m in deferred awards from bonus schemes in earlier years, although he will not receive any payments under the bank's long-term incentive plan.
Last month, he waived his entitlement to a bonus for 2013, saying "it would not be right" to accept one in a year when profits had fallen and Barclays had raised almost £6bn from shareholders through a rights issue.
Mr Morzaria's award will comprise a multimillion pound payment designed to compensate him for the loss of share options when he left JP Morgan Chase, his previous employer.
The best-paid of the top dozen executives is expected to be Skip McGee, the chief executive of Barclays' Americas business.
The former Lehman Brothers banker is expected to receive more than £5m in shares, according to a person close to the bank.
Barclays is said to be hopeful of averting another row over pay because the value of the share awards is down so sharply on last year, a trend that it expects leading shareholders to welcome.
This year's announcement will include 12 executives, three of whom work in Barclays' investment bank, whereas last year - when awards were higher - there were only nine employees included in the announcement.
Tuesday's statement will also include the first instalment of share allowances awarded to the ten executives other than the chief executive and finance director, meaning that less than £30m of the awards will relate to bonuses, a source said.
Last week, Fidelity, the fund management giant and a major Barclays shareholder, said the bank had landed itself in a "public relations mess" by increasing its bonus pool to £2.4bn despite profits falling by 10%.
"We are disappointed that the distributions between employees and shareholders did not favour shareholders more.
"It is disappointing that a year after making various commitments on pay, they have got themselves into a PR mess again," Dominic Rossi, global chief investment officer at Fidelity, said.
Last week, Mr Jenkins ran into another tussle over pay, saying in a newspaper interview he had had to pay bigger bonuses to avoid its investment bank falling into "a death spiral".
In total, 481 Barclays workers' remuneration broke through the £1m threshold, a 10% increase on the previous year despite the sharp decline in profits.
A round of shuttle diplomacy involving Mr Jenkins and Mr Morzaria, Barclays' new finance director, has attempted to reassure investors they will exert a tighter grip on the bank's cost-base during the next 12 months.
Since replacing Bob Diamond, his lavishly-paid predecessor, Mr Jenkins has pledged to make Barclays a stakeholder-friendly bank by boosting shareholder dividends and punishing employees whose behaviour does not meet exacting standards.
Barclays declined to comment.