RegulationCorporate GovernanceOn the money with Gavin Hinks

On the money with Gavin Hinks

Chris Lucas must be wondering what kind of company he’s joining when he takes over as finance director at Barclays on April Fools Day this year

He’s been waiting months to take the hot seat vacated by Naguib Kheraj, but
it seems that, in the interim, the bank is changing out of all recognition.

The reason – Barclays stand on the brink of taking over ABN Amro, to make it
one of the three biggest banks in the world. What looked like a terrific job to
begin with now looks as if it could be stellar.

Of course this brings its own pressures. It’ll be a much more complex
organisation which will create greater demands on the energies and concentration
of its executives.

But the move could bring immediate rewards. For instance when Lucas,
technically still a PricewaterhouseCoopers man, negotiated his salary, it was
for stepping up to an organisation that was slightly smaller than it might be in
the near future.

On joining he trousers £600,000 basic, bonus scheme of up to £450,000,
£150,000 in shares, and a recommended share award of £500,000 on joining. But
would it be enough for someone joining an even bigger bank. After all Lucas has
his status to think of. There will be competitors out there on more.

Right, but Lucas, even though he’s currently UK head of financial services
and global head of banking and capital markets at PwC, is relatively untried as
an FD. It will be difficult for him to walk in and say, ‘that was then, this is
now.’ In fact it’s very unlikely that it would even cross his mind.

One other observation. His predecessor left because he was sick of compliance
– a suggestion that he wanted to do more deals. Sadly, he’s walking away just as
Barclays appears set to be doing the deal of a lifetime. Funny how things can
turn out.

Gavin Hinks is the editor of Accountancy Age

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