Sunday, February 19, 2012

A tougher road than expected for expanding Barclays; no implications (yet) for Brooklyn promotional efforts

So, the banking firm plastering its name on the Brooklyn arena is hitting a rough patch, at least in Europe. In a 2/9/12 article headlined Barclays Falls Short of Big Dreams, the Wall Street Journal reported:
In June 2009, top Barclays PLC executive Robert Diamond laid out an ambitious plan for the venerable British bank "to be the premier global investment bank," a goal he hoped to achieve "over the next couple of years."
More than three years after Barclays absorbed Lehman Brothers' North American operations in a cut-price deal that represented a critical moment of the financial crisis, Barclays has yet to achieve the lofty goals set out by Mr. Diamond, now the bank's chief executive.
Despite making progress, the investment-banking division, called Barclays Capital, is making less money than executives predicted. In Europe, which Barclays targeted as a key growth area, it has struggled to win investment-banking assignments in the crucial areas of equities and mergers and acquisitions. It has fallen short of a goal to become a top-three player in those categories.
The strategy in the U.S. may be on more solid ground, but it's just the key part of the business, according to the firm's report of 2011 results, issued 2/10/12.
Still, if Barclays doesn't do better, who knows, maybe it will want to renegotiate, yet again, the naming rights agreement. Or place a greater priority on using the Barclays Center arena to boost its profile. Stay tuned.

The results

On 2/10/12, the Journal reported:
U.K. banking group Barclays PLC (BCS) Friday said it would cap investment banker bonuses as its 2011 full-year net profit slumped on a sharp drop in investment banking revenue.
The London-based bank said net profit for 2011 fell 16% to GBP3 billion. Adjusted return on equity, a closely watched metric among investors and analysts, fell to 6.6% from 6.8% a year earlier, well below the bank's 2013 target of 13%. Chief Executive Bob Diamond said the bank's 2011 return on equity was "unacceptable" and warned that the 13% target might not be achieved by 2013.
Diamond wouldn't comment on whether he would receive a bonus, though other UK bankers--at least those where the government has a stake--have given them up.

Guardian columnist Nils Pratley slammed Diamond in a column that day:
Would a boss who describes his firm's financial returns as "unacceptable" then accept a bonus?
In the case of Bob Diamond, we'll have to wait to find out. The Barclays chief executive is refusing to talk about his own rewards on the day of the bank's annual results. Those results, however, are dominated by a single statistic: a return on shareholders' equity of 6.6% for 2011, down from 6.8% last year. That outcome is miles away from Diamond's target of 13% by 2013. Indeed, the man himself concedes the race is as good as lost already. The target has been downgraded to an aspiration "over time".

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