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Barclays opposes activist Bramson's demand to be named to board

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Barclays opposes activist Bramson's demand to be named to board
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Barclays bank is seen on glass lamps outside of a branch of the bank in the City of London financial district in London September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville   -   Copyright  TOBY MELVILLE(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Barclays Plc on Thursday opposed activist Sherborne Investors’ demand to name the investor’s founder Edward Bramson to the board of the British bank.

While the bank said it recognised that it does not “yet perform at the level at which it should”, it added that it does not need another strategic overhaul.

Bramson has so far failed in attempts to get the lender to scale back its investment banking activities, which he says have weighed on shareholder returns and run the risk of the bank needing to raise fresh capital.

Sherborne had on Monday written again to shareholders of Barclays seeking to drum up support for the election of Bramson to the bank’s board. It is the third largest shareholder in Barclays with a 5.48 percent stake, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Sherborne Investors could not be immediately reached for a comment.

Barclays had first revealed in March last year that Bramson had built a stake in the bank.

While Barclays has said it remains committed to its strategy, Chief Executive Jes Staley last month ousted the head of its investment banking division and instead took direct control of the unit, a move referenced in Sherborne’s latest letter.

Barclays said on Thursday that Bramson’s prior investments and the company’s engagement with him suggest “he would be a disruptive and uncollaborative influence on the board,” adding that he does not possess the banking experience.

The bank said it has and would continue to engage with Bramson, but believes that “Sherborne’s interests are not aligned with the wider shareholder base.”

Barclays is due to hold its annual general meeting of shareholders on May 2.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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