Who is Sir David Walker, new Barclays chairman?

Aug 10, 2012

City establishment figure, aged 72, takes helm at crisis-hit bank

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BARCLAYS has appointed 72-year-old Sir David Walker to replace Marcus Agius as its chairman, following the latter's resignation in the wake of the Libor rate fixing scandal.

Walker said: "Barclays has a crucial role to play in ensuring that this country has a successful, well-governed banking industry. My immediate priority, and critical to Barclays' ongoing success, will be the appointment of a new chief executive and I will be fully engaged in that process."

Former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond was also forced to resign over the Libor affair, which resulted in a £290m fine for the bank.

Walker will start as a non-executive director of Barclays in September before becoming chairman in November.  He will be paid £750,000 a year for working "no fewer" than four days a week. Around £100,000 of this will be paid in shares.

Walker's appointment was welcomed by Barclays shareholders. Legal and General Investment Management told The Times: "LGIM is pleased with the way Barclays conducted this appointment. There was a good candidate list and Barclays engaged and sought shareholders' views."

The Guardian describes Walker as a "City establishment figure" who has worked in finance for half a century. The BBC reports that he is a member of the Garrick and Reform clubs and the Mayfair-based Mark's private dining club. His hobbies are listed in Who's Who as music and long-distance walking.

A Cambridge graduate, Walker began his career at the Treasury in 1961, before stints at the International Monetary Fund in Washington and the Bank of England, where he was its chief adviser. In 1988 he became head of the now-defunct City regulator, the Securities and Investments Board. He later worked at Lloyds and Morgan Stanley International, which has given him experience of both retail and investment banking.

Walker has something of a reputation for crisis management. In 1985 he stepped in to become chairman of the failing Johnson Matthey Bankers and he advised Labour on bankers' pay following the 2008 financial crisis – eventually concluding that banks should publish the number of staff paid more than £1m.

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