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Dual role for Barclays’ company secretary as veteran GC Hoyt stands down

Barclays has announced the appointment of Stephen Shapiro as group general counsel, in addition to his current role as group company secretary. Shapiro will succeed GC Powerlist regular Bob Hoyt on 1 August, who is stepping down after nearly seven years in the role.

Shapiro will join the executive committee and report directly to group CEO Jes Staley in his capacity as GC, and to group chairman Nigel Higgins in his role as company secretary. He joined Barclays in 2017 from SABMiller, where he was group company secretary and deputy general counsel, having previously held the role of global head of legal.

Hoyt will remain at Barclays until the end of 2020 in a vice-chairman role, acting as a senior adviser to the CEO and other executives on key strategic projects.

Since taking over from Mark Harding in 2013, Hoyt has been widely touted as the definitive safe pair of hands in steering the bank through the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Turbulence, controversies and shifts in strategy have dominated Hoyt’s agenda: a Serious Fraud Office investigation;  a multibillion-dollar settlement with the US Department of Justice and similarly weighty fines for manipulating the forex market;  and ring-fencing reforms that saw Barclays take the decision in March 2016 to split into two divisions: Barclays UK and Barclays International.

While the stature of in-house legal teams at financial institutions has increased post crisis, Barclays in particular under Hoyt has been widely considered as having one of the more forward-thinking and innovative legal departments. Staley said Hoyt 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’.

The most obvious manifestation of this was the banking giant’s final panel review in mid-2018 ahead of a long-planned phasing out of formal reviews by 2021. Alongside Hoyt, operations leaders Stéphanie Hamon (now at Norton Rose Fulbright), Jon Doyle and Alison Gaskins (now at a consulting firm)  led on Barclays’ reshaping, generating savings believed to run into the tens of millions of pounds.

For in-depth analysis of Barclays’ 2018 legal panel review, read ‘Point break – The extreme measures of Barclays’ adviser review’