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28 July 2020

Barclays names former SABMiller deputy GC as bank's new legal chief

Stephen Shapiro will replace outgoing GC Bob Hoyt at the start of August

By Ben Edwards

Barclays, Canary Wharf Shutterstock

UK bank Barclays has named Stephen Shapiro as its new group general counsel after it announced that Bob Hoyt was stepping down after almost seven years in the role.

Shapiro joined the bank in 2017 as group company secretary from SABMiller, where he was also group company secretary and deputy GC. Shapiro will continue his role as company secretary when he assumes GC responsibilities at the start of August. 

Jes Staley, the bank’s CEO, said: “In Stephen Shapiro we are fortunate to have such an eminently qualified, hugely experienced, and valued colleague in place to take over as general counsel for the group.”

Shapiro will join the banking group’s executive committee and report directly to Staley in his role as GC and to chairman Nigel Higgins in his role as company secretary. Shapiro, who also previously served as SABMiller’s global head of legal, was among the casualties of the beer-maker’s £79bn mega-merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2016.

Hoyt, meantime, will remain at Barclays until the end of the year as vice-chairman and will serve as a senior advisor to Staley and other executives on strategic projects.

Staley added: “Bob Hoyt has been an outstanding general counsel for Barclays. He was instrumental in guiding the group through many complex challenges that followed the financial crisis, and in resolving some of our biggest legacy conduct issues. Bob has been a constant source of wise counsel and support through a significant period of transformation for Barclays.”

Hoyt joined Barclays in 2013 from PNC Financial Services, replacing former Clifford Chance finance partner Mark Harding who retired after a decade as the bank’s legal chief.

Barclays has been embroiled in a number of legal issues in recent years, most notably an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into the bank’s fundraising during the 2008 financial crisis when it turned to investors in the Middle East rather than seek a government bailout. 

And in 2018 it agreed to pay $2bn to the US Department of Justice in exchange for dismissing claims that it mislead investors about the quality of mortgage-backed bonds it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.

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