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Indian-origin C.S. Venkatakrishnan takes over as Barclays CEO

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Another Indian-origin has taken over the reigns of a major multinational company. C.S. Venkatakrishnan, head of global markets for Barclays, has been appointed the bank’s chief executive, following the resignation of Jes Staley after a report by UK regulators explored links with late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Born in Mysuru, Karnataka, Venkatakrishnan went to the United States for higher education, and completed S.B (Bachelor of Science), S.M. (Masters of Science) and Ph.D degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While Venkatakrishnan (known as Venkat) takes over at Barclays following a significant scandal, the bank said succession planning has been in place for some time, and that he had been identified as the preferred candidate more than a year ago.

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Venkatakrishnan and Staley were colleagues at J.P. Morgan, and had served early warning that the bank faced up to $6.3 billion of losses from dubious trades—which later became known after a trader called the “London Whale” cost the group at least $6.2 billion. After Staley left J.P. Morgan, he hired several of his former colleagues including Venkatakrishnan, Quartz reported.

“On appointment, Venkat will receive fixed pay of £2.7million, delivered 50 per cent in cash (paid monthly) and 50 per cent in Barclays shares. Venkat will also receive a cash payment in lieu of pension of £135,000 per annum,” Barclays said.

At the bank, he leads initiatives that promote women and a more multi-cultural workplace. He is the first person of colour to be given the top position at Barclays.

Why Jes Staley is stepping down

Staley stepped down on Monday following a report by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, which examined the way Staley characterized his relationship with Epstein to Barclays when he was Epstein’s private banker in his previous job at U.S. investment bank J.P. Morgan.

In a statement Monday, Barclays noted that the investigation makes no findings that Staley saw or knew about any of Epstein’s alleged crimes, which it said was the central question behind its decision to back its chief executive following Epstein’s arrest in summer 2019.

Staley said his last contact with Epstein was in fall 2015, when he and his wife sailed to Epstein’s private island for lunch. That trip occurred shortly before he joined Barclays. He said he had no contact with Epstein once he joined the bank in December 2015.

With inputs from PTI

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