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FirstFT: Top Barclays investors raise alarm over terms of Jes Staley’s exit


FirstFT: Top Barclays investors raise alarm over terms of Jes Staley’s exit

Three of Barclays’ top 20 shareholders have raised concerns over the terms of Jes Staley’s exit ahead of meetings between the bank and investors next week.

Some investors have privately criticised the £2.4m in pay awarded to the departing chief executive, who resigned this month following a probe into his past ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Staley intends to contest the preliminary conclusions of the UK regulatory investigation, which examined whether he had mischaracterised his relationship with Epstein as purely professional. The full report has not yet been published.

The Financial Times has reported that when he worked at JPMorgan several years ago Staley exchanged 1,200 emails with Epstein over a four-year period, with content that included unexplained terms such as “snow white”. Epstein died by suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial.

Thank you for reading FirstFT Europe/Africa. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Jennifer

1. US and China agree to hold nuclear talks Joe Biden and Xi Jinping have agreed to discuss reducing tensions as Washington’s anxiety grows at Beijing’s expanding arsenal and its recent test of a hypersonic weapon. China has previously refused to hold nuclear talks.

2. JPMorgan sues Tesla over ‘funding secured’ tweet The US bank has sued Tesla for $162m, alleging that the automaker failed to make a required payment that was triggered after chief executive Elon Musk’s 2018 announcement that he was considering taking the company private.

Elon Musk
The lawsuit is just the latest fallout from Elon Musk’s tweet in 2018 in which he said he was considering taking Tesla private © Samuel Corum/Bloomberg

3. UK launches probe into Nvidia’s Arm deal The British government has launched an in-depth investigation into US chipmaker Nvidia’s takeover of the UK-based technology company Arm on national security grounds, throwing another hurdle in the path of the $54bn deal.

4. Germany suspends certification of pipeline The German regulator said it “temporarily suspended” certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, dealing a setback to the Kremlin-backed gas project and sparking a rise in UK and continental European gas prices.

5. Hedge funds secure bulk of £300m from Debenhams The hedge funds that acquired control of the department store chain before its collapse last year have received more than two-thirds of the £300m recovered by administrators, new documents show.

Coronavirus digest

  • Cathay Pacific is considering asking pilots to live outside of Hong Kong for several months because of the city’s strict quarantine policy.

  • Australian central bank governor Philip Lowe said national price pressures were lower than in the US and the UK, a sign that price increases in economies are because of Covid-19 rather than a global shift towards high inflation.

  • Pfizer has agreed a licensing deal to expand low-cost access to its antiviral pill in the developing world. It is also seeking US authorisation for the pill.

  • The performances of two “work from home” funds have diverged wildly this year, as cloud computing and remote communications stocks stay strong while consumer names struggle. Check out the FT’s third annual Diversity Leaders ranking for discussions around inclusivity at a time of more atomised working patterns.

Sign up to the Road to Recovery newsletter, for an essential guide to business and the economy in a world transformed by the pandemic.

Line chart of year-to-date performance showing rival 'work from home' ETFs moving in opposite directions

The day ahead

Economic data UK inflation data, out today, are forecast to show consumer price increases hit 3.9 per cent last month, their highest level in a decade. Separate measures in the eurozone and Canada are also likely to exhibit greater price pressures in October. (FT, WSJ)

Proposal to ban MPs from political consulting roles Labour will table the motion in the House of Commons, a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his support for the ban in an attempt to close down a sleaze scandal that has dominated Westminster for the past fortnight.

Earnings In the UK, British Land and SSE publish interim results, while football club Manchester United releases its earnings for the first quarter. Nvidia reports after the closing bell in New York, with analysts expecting a positive impact from the use of its processors in crypto mining. See a full list of company reports here.

Vatican corruption trial A landmark Vatican alleged-corruption trial resumes. The case revolves around the purchase by the Holy See’s Secretariat of State of a commercial and residential building in London’s South Kensington. Watch this video to get up to speed.

Video: Can the Vatican reform its finances?

Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution Czech Republic and Slovakia will mark the 32nd anniversary of what is seen widely as a turning point leading to the collapse of communist regimes in eastern Europe.

What else we’re reading

Fed policy must adjust for inflation Policymakers are sailing towards an inflationary cliff, writes Martin Wolf. Even if the price rises we are seeing could be transitory, they risk becoming permanent — unless senior management at the Federal Reserve is prepared to think through where the US and world economies actually are.

Martin Wolf: ‘It has never made sense to me that the world’s leading central bank should respond to its past failures by deliberately making opposite mistakes in future’
Martin Wolf: ‘It has never made sense to me that the world’s leading central bank should respond to its past failures by deliberately making opposite mistakes in future’ © James Ferguson

Insurgents take on the scandal-hit Big Four A stream of scandals has raised concerns that audit firms selling services such as merger advice cannot also function effectively as auditors. Now, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC face losing star performers and lucrative divisions to smaller rivals. Can the Big Four defend their turf?

“We’re not so much stealing their lunch, we’re stealing the food from their cupboard that we want,” said Richard Fleming, Alvarez & Marsal

Western brands aim for the sky in Xi Jinping’s China The country’s drive for an “olive shaped” distribution of wealth looks to be an opportunity for western brands, albeit a complicated one that will require them to steer around political and social minefields, Brooke Masters writes.

Iraqi women displaced by Isis find new freedoms Traditionally one of Iraq’s more conservative areas and dogged by violent Islamist militancy since the US-led invasion of 2003, society in tribal and predominantly Sunni Anbar is undergoing subtle but significant changes.

Why wearables could mean the doctor no longer knows best Smart rings and watches are arming people with months of personal biometric data to see which treatments work and which do not. These sophisticated healthcare tools are getting us closer to a new patient-doctor relationship, a trend that feels inevitable as fewer people trust institutions.


A guide to Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, Beijing’s pursuit of international primacy and Alexei Navalny’s extraordinary courage are some of the subjects covered in Gideon Rachman’s list of the year’s best books on politics. Don’t forget: you can suggest your favourite reads this year here.

Published at Wed, 17 Nov 2021 05:38:56 +0000


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