Barclays speeds up handover process

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Barclays said the handover from current chief executive John Varley will take place on January 1

Barclays will begin 2011 with a new boss after the banking giant brought forward the start date for American-born banker Bob Diamond.

The company said the handover from current chief executive John Varley will take place on January 1, three months earlier than previously expected.

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius said: “Over the last three months, John and Bob have made good progress in completing the transition. John’s view, with which I and the board agree is that we are now ready to effect the handover.

“The speed with which the transition has been completed reflects the continuity in management and strategy that the succession provides.”

Mr Varley, who steered Barclays through the financial crisis without the need to call on government funds, will step down from the board on December 31 but is to be a senior adviser on regulatory matters until the end of September.

Mr Diamond has been with Barclays for 14 years and built its investment banking arm from scratch into a business so large it generates more than 80% of the bank’s total profits.

The 59-year-old, one of the world’s richest bankers, will be paid a £1.35 million annual salary, up from the current £250,000, and stands to receive potential bonuses worth another £10 million.

Barclays announced plans for Mr Varley’s departure and the appointment of Mr Diamond in September.

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