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Activist Sherborne 'engaging' with Barclays over new chair

Activist Sherborne 'engaging' with Barclays over new chair

Edward Bramson's Sherborne Investors has said it is 'engaging' with Barclays’ over the search to replace its chairman, John McFarlane, in its first statement regarding the bank since it revealed its holding in March.

In its half year report, the activist investment manager, which holds a 5.4% stake in Barclays, also said it was discussing ‘capital allocation, quality of earnings, capital adequacy and cost structure’ with the bank.

Sherborne said it believes taking action in these areas 'would improve Barclays' financial strength and its long-term competitive position' and that it intends to keep up the pressure 'as long as it appears to be appropriate to do so'.

The firm noted that Barclays’ shares experienced a positive return for most of the first part of the year, despite most major banks losing value, but declined 11.3% between the announcement of its first quarter results on 26 April and 30 June.

Barclays' share price was 191.92p at 11.02am, 13% lower than its 52-week high of 220.10p.

McFarlane (pictured), who succeeded Sir David Walker as chair in 2015, told shareholders at Barclays’ annual meeting that he had told chairman of its nominations committee Crawford Gillies to prepare for his departure.

However, he also noted he had served only three years of his four year term and added: ‘you are not getting rid of me yet.’

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