By Lawrence White
LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays has promoted 85 executives in the international division that houses its investment bank to the rank of managing director, the British lender said on Friday.
The promotions represent an increase from the 74 elevated last year and 60 in 2016. However, a spokesman for the bank said the net increase in managing directors could be smaller than those figures implied as some executives have also left.
The promotions come as Barclays' investment bank is under scrutiny by investors, amid pressure by activist investor Edward Bramson who sees paring back the trading business as the way to generate better returns for Barclays overall.
Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley has repeatedly rebuffed that notion, saying the investment bank is an important part of Barclays' strategy that provides a counterbalance as trading revenues rise in turbulent times that hurt other parts of the business.
The managing director role is one of the most prestigious in investment banking. Below the chief executive level, most global investment banks are run by just a few hundred 'MDs', from whose ranks the next leader of the bank is typically chosen.
A typical salary for a managing director at Barclays is about 300,000 pounds according to recruitment website Glassdoor.
Of the newly promoted managing directors, 27 percent are women, a spokesman said, up from 23 percent last year and 18 percent in 2016. Barclays said in February it had a mean gender pay gap in its international division of 48 percent, among the highest differentials in financial firms globally.
It means the average hourly wage for a woman was just under half that of a man, with the difference generally caused by fewer women attaining senior ranks such as managing director rather than by women being paid less than men of the same rank.
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Edmund Blair)