End of an era as McFarlane steps down at Barclays

John McFarlane

Barclays announced that Scottish banking veteran John McFarlane, 71, will retire as its chairman in May 2019, and that Nigel Higgins, deputy chairman of Rothschild & Co, has been appointed to succeed him.

McFarlane — often called Mack the Knife — said: “Whilst it is always a difficult choice to retire from a company as prestigious as Barclays, I am delighted that the board has appointed Nigel Higgins to succeed me as chairman.

“I have every confidence that Nigel will be a superb steward of the board and the bank as Barclays continues to progress following the substantial restructuring of the past few years, and I look forward to welcoming him when he joins our ranks in March.”

Crawford Gillies, the senior independent director who led the process to appoint a successor to McFarlane, said: “The Barclays board established demanding criteria for identifying a new chairman, and that meant an exacting and very careful search process.

“In Nigel Higgins we have found an ideal candidate.

“He is a hugely respected banker, a strategic thinker, someone with extensive international experience, and he has a strong positive leadership style.

“These are all great qualities that he will bring to the role.

“On behalf of the board I would also like to place on record our sincere thanks to John McFarlane for the enormous contribution he has made to the development of Barclays over the course of the past three and a half years.

“John has been an excellent chairman during a period of fundamental restructuring of the business, and he has been instrumental in the huge effort to put the bank on a path to growth.

“We wish him well for when he retires next May.”