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Barclays Chief Needs Shareholders To Just Calm Down And Give Him Some Breathing Room While He Puts The Finishing Touches On Massive Layoff PlanBy Bess Levin
Antony Jenkins knows people are pissed. He knows it looked bad to increase bonuses after profits fell. He knows investors want results. He knows everyone is tense. He also knows that if everyone would just sit tight, and give him a couple weeks to finish a project he’s been working on, a lot of people will feel a lot better about the pay situation come May 8, when he officially announces the firing of a boatload of employees.
Barclays PLC directors said Thursday that rivals are picking off the bank’s top staff because it can’t compete on pay. The claim was made at an unruly annual meeting of the bank’s shareholders, during which one of the lender’s biggest shareholders delivered an unusual public reprimand on remuneration. Barclays Chairman David Walker defended the pay decision, saying the bank was being “attacked very aggressively by its competitors,” particularly in the U.S. Mr. Walker added that Barclays had trouble recruiting staff for top jobs last year because it pays less than rivals, and that the number of U.S. senior staff who resigned last year had nearly doubled…
Chief Executive Antony Jenkins told shareholders that he understands their frustration, but to bear with him as he brings about major changes at the bank. These include a planned revamp of its investment bank that will be presented on May 8, and which executives have said will include significant job cuts.
Earlier: Bonus Watch ’14: Barclays Had Two Choices; Layoffs Watch ’14: Barclays Is Gonna Need 12,000 Empty Boxes