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The twists and turns in the life of Barclays' wealth business

We chart the key events that mark Barclays Wealth & Investment Management's interesting course over the past five years.

What a difference five years can make. Barclays’ Wealth & Investment Management (W&IM) division has gone from a programme of all-out expansion to one of retreat in wealth management.

In 2010, the bank announced plans to inject £350 million into W&IM with the aim of quadrupling the size of the business, powered by an investment in technology and a doubling of private banker headcount.

Roll forward four years and there has been a wholesale change of leadership at the bank after the Libor-rigging scandal, alongside a management overhaul across the wealth division.

This followed the departure of chief Tom Kalaris last year and the decision by his successor Peter Horrell (pictured) to change the proposition by servicing sub-£500,000 clients out of call centres. A 40% reduction in headcount accompanied this move to bring down the unit’s cost-income ratio.

After putting through the dramatic change programme, Horrell has announced he will leave at the end of the year.
Here, we highlight some of the defining moments for the bank over the past five years.

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Profit and asset performance over the last four years.

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AIM portfolio service withdrawn

Barclays Wealth decides to withdraw its AIM portfolio service three years after launch. Clients are advised to transfer over to Killik’s AIM service.

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Project Gamma

Barclays Wealth announces ‘Project Gamma’ - a five-year £350 million investment programme at the beginning of the year that aims to quadruple the size of the business through a substantial investment in technology and a target of doubling private banker headcount, bringing assets up to £300 billion.

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Hiring spree

W&IM makes a raft of appointments to its London & South-East division, with 14 hires between September and November alone and several individuals joining from the broader group. In August, the bank attracted senior private bankers from Coutts and UBS.

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Suitability fine

Barclays fined £7.7 million for investment advice failings linked to the sale of two Aviva funds. The bank isn't the only organisation to have its knuckles rapped, Coutts is fined later in the year for failures in the way it sold the AIG Enhanced Variable Rate fund.

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Libor scandal hits, Diamond departs

UK and US regulators fine Barclays £290 million for significant failings in relation to Libor and Euribor. This results in the departure of CEO Bob Diamond (above), a TSC hearing and an overhaul of the bank’s strategy and management team.

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October 2012 – Management reshuffle

W&IM senior management restructures, as David Semaya’s role as head of UK and Ireland is assumed by Emmanuel Fievet, ex-head of EMEA. Semaya takes on a new role in asset management.

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RDR rate card

Ahead of the retail distribution review, Barclays’ new rate card starts with an annual fee of 0.75% for advice and custody on the first £1 million. This drops to 0.6% for the next £2 million, 0.5% on the next £4 million and 0.25% over £7 million.

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COO departs

Barclays W&IM’s chief operating officer Andrew Tinney departs after reports alleged he had binned a report exposing cultural flaws in the bank.

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Kalaris exits

Barclays W&IM's chief executive Thomas Kalaris announces plans to leave the firm. It follows his ally Diamond’s departure.

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Sub-£100k service withdrawn

The private bank's discretionary service is withdrawn for direct clients with less than £100,000 or those with financial advisers that have portfolios lower than £250,000. Clients are given choice of moving to Barclays Stockbrokers or shutting their account.

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Horrell takes helm with new strategy

- Peter Horrell is appointed CEO, officially taking over from Tom Kalaris, who had headed the unit since 2006. Barclays also sets aside £22 million in compensation for those invested in the suspended AIG Enhanced Variable Rate fund.

- W&I posts a 53% drop in pre-tax profit to £47 million and starts a consultation period, as part of a plan to reduce headcount by 40%.

- The bank confirms a new Private Clients division for sub-£500,000 clients, who will be serviced out of call centres.

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W&IM folded into UK retail

-Wealth advisory head Catherine Grum exits for Salamanca Group and discretionary head Oliver Gregson joins HSBC Private Bank.

-W&IM ceases to exist as a standalone business and is folded into the UK & retail bank. Profits fall 15% in Q1 due to a £22 million outlay on ‘Project Transform’, while client assets dip £6.5 billion to £198.3 billion.

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Staff exodus continues amid technology drive

- In June, chief executive Peter Horrell announces he will leave at the end of 2014, having spent 23 years at the bank.

- Then in July, UK wealth management head Henry Fischel-Bock departs to join Lombard Odier Head of global investments Rory Tobin exits, while Europe CIO Kevin Gardiner joins Rothschild.

- W&I launches mobile banking application for UK high net worth clients. It follows the introduction of a voice biometrics system for clients.

- Barclays announces plans for d-to-c launch of Wealth Direct for 2015.

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