Barclays taps MD to help lead its U.S. online retail push

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Barclays is adding some senior talent as it looks to take on Goldman Sachs with the expansion of its own digital-only retail banking service in the U.S. The British bank has hired Rob Kottmeier as a managing director to lead its business credit and data strategy team.

“Rob brings to Barclays a wealth of credit and data analytics experience in both large financial institutions and cutting-edge fintechs, and we are pleased to have him play a leadership role as our digital consumer banking business continues to evolve,” Barclays said in a statement confirming the hire.

The news comes just two weeks after the FT reported that Barclays is launching digital-only checking accounts for its U.S. online bank, which already offers credit cards, savings accounts and loans. Barry Rodrigues, head of cards and payments at Barclays International, told the Times that he expects to launch the new offering in 2019. The move further pits Barclays against Goldman’s digital bank, Marcus, which ironically just launched in the U.K. within the last month after being introduced in the 2016. The two firms are betting that consumers will be more willing to ditch brick-and-mortar banks for cheaper online alternatives. Goldman said that 50,000 new Marcus customers signed up within two weeks of its recent U.K. launch.

While Barclays didn’t comment on further hiring plans, it’s likely they will need to add more senior leadership with backgrounds in credit and retail banking. The launch of Marcus led Goldman to make a number of director-level hires, mostly from credit card companies, including several from American Express. Kottmeier began the first nine years of his career at Capital One before becoming a chief credit officer at a few different niche financial services firms. Goldman also continues to hire tech professionals as it builds out its Marcus brand in the U.K., so you can expect Barclays to do the same in the U.S.

Kottmeier is a Princeton grad with an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He’s working out of Barclays’ U.S. consumer bank headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

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