UK: Rake pulls out of Barclays race for chairman role

The leadership crisis at Barclays continued to plague the embattled bank today after the frontrunner for the role of chairman confirmed his withdrawal from the race.

Barclays deputy chairman Sir Michael Rake has informed executive chairman Marcus Agius, the man he was tipped to replace, that he does not wish to be a candidate for the role.

The surprise move was confirmed by low-cost airline easyJet, for which Sir Michael is chairman, in a short statement released to the stock exchange.

Barclays, which was hit with �290 million of fines following the Libor affair, is also without a chief executive after the departures of Bob Diamond and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier in the wake of the scandal.

The statement said: “EasyJet confirms that Sir Mike Rake has informed the easyJet board that he has formally informed the chairman of Barclays that he does not wish to be a candidate for the chairmanship of Barclays.

“The board takes the opportunity to repeat its support for Sir Mike.”

With other investors indicating they want an external appointment, Glen Moreno, the former banker who chairs publisher Pearson, and Lord O’Donnell, the former Cabinet secretary, are among other names in the frame.

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Rich Ricci, head of Barclays’ investment bank, is also thought to have ruled himself out of the running to replace Mr Diamond. Naguib Kheraj, the former chief financial officer who is now a senior adviser to the bank, is seen as the one viable internal candidate.

In his temporary role as executive chairman, Mr Agius will present the group’s half-year results on Friday, when profits are set to rise by 10% to �4 billion.

The higher figure, which will be driven by a stronger performance from its investment banking arm Barclays Capital, could ease concerns held by credit ratings agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which both placed Barclays on negative outlook.