Barclays’ French-American Banking Duo Aids Jenkins’ Drive for Control

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Rich Ricci’s departure as Barclays’ investment banking head leaves a French-American duo at the top of the unit . It also puts Chief Executive Antony Jenkins in the driver’s seat of the entire bank.

Here’s a quick look at the two new co-chief executives of corporate and investment banking who succeed Ricci, who is due to retire in June.

Tom King

King joined Barclays in 2009 after a long run at Citigroup, where he was most recently the head of banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He’s moved quickly through the Barclays ranks since. King began overseeing the newly combined Corporate Finance/M&A team in early 2012, then, later that year, became Barclays’ deputy head of investment banking.

He was named the head of investment banking just last month, succeeding Skip McGee, who was named the new chief executive of Barclays’ U.S. division on Thursday.

King is American-born, having received his BA from Bowdoin and his MBA from Wharton, but has spent the better part of his career overseas, according to his company profile. He only recently relocated to the U.S., where he will be stationed in his new role.

More parts Jenkins than Diamond, King is known to be low key and thoughtful. When asked by Financial News in 2010 the one lesson he has learned in two decades of investment banking, King responded: “to take the long view.” Doesn’t sound like a Rich Ricci disciple right there. He methodically built up Barclays M&A business in Europe, and will look to continue the recent success enjoyed by the U.S. unit.

Eric Bommensath

Like King, Bommensath has spent time on both sides of the pond. Born and educated in France, Bommensath studied at two of the nation’s top engineering schools: École Polytechnique in Paris and Engineering at École Ponts et Chaussées. He’s known to be highly intelligent.

Bommensath has been with Barclays for 16 years, mostly in fixed income, slowly rising through the ranks as the head of trading for the Americas, eventually becoming the global head of fixed income in 2010, at which time he relocated back to London. Ricci promoted him to the head of markets in October of 2012. He too is known to have a less bombastic personality and demeanor than Ricci, and more in line with that of his new boss.

For Jenkins, the how may be more important than the who. The firm is replacing Ricci with two heads most likely to limit the possibility of any one investment banker becoming too powerful. After all, both have ties to the old regime. The two will report directly to Jenkins, “creating a closer day-to-day relationship and clearer line of sight for myself into the business,” Jenkins said in a statement.

Jenkins’ goal for the realignment is to “strengthen control.” With the dual appointments, the control appears to be his.

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