* McGee doesn't want task of setting up U.S. holding company
* Exit comes after Barclays investor backlash on bonuses
* Ex-Lehman dealmaker McGee awarded $15 mln in shares last
* Joe Gold, former commodities chief, to be Americas CEO
(Adds background on McGee and Gold)
By Steve Slater
LONDON, April 29 Hugh 'Skip' McGee, one of the
British bank Barclays' highest earners, has quit as
head of its Americas business, the bank saying he did not want
to oversee the task of establishing a new holding company
required under tougher U.S. rules.
The departure of the former Lehman Brothers dealmaker
coincides with pressure on Barclays Chief Executive Antony
Jenkins to cut staff pay after shareholders last week rebelled
against a decision to increase bonuses.
Jenkins said the bonus rise was needed to prevent an exodus
of U.S. investment bankers, and McGee's exit is likely to raise
concern that some of his former Lehman colleagues will join him.
Barclays said McGee had decided to step down due to the
increased amount of time he will need to spend in the next two
years on regulations, compliance, legal and operational issues.
The bank has to establish an intermediate holding company by
July 2016, which imposes more stringent rules on the U.S. arms
of foreign banks and will require them to hold more capital.
Joe Gold, currently head of client capital management, will
take over as the head of Barclays' Americas business from May 1.
Barclays said the role had been restructured and Gold would
report to the co-CEOs of Barclays' corporate and investment
banking operations, Tom King and Eric Bommensath.
Barclays hired Gold in 2001 from the failed Enron energy
trading business to help lead its expansion into commodities,
and he ran its European power and gas trading in London before
moving to New York to develop its U.S. commodities business.
Jenkins said Gold understood the fast-changing regulatory
landscape and would be helped by non-executive director Stephen
Thieke, who previously worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of
New York, to set up the holding company.
McGee, 53, was awarded nearly 9 million pounds ($15 million)
of shares last month under bonus plans from prior years, the
highest payout among the bank's executives. His full pay details
are not disclosed.
McGee joined Barclays when it bought the U.S. arm of Lehman
when the investment bank collapsed in 2008 and became head of
its Americas operations in March 2013.
He said that, after 21 years at Lehman and Barclays, he was
looking forward to "my next challenge", but did not specify what
that would be.
The Texan has spent most of his career advising investment
bank clients in the energy sector, including advising on Kinder
Morgan's $21 billion purchase of El Paso Corp. He also worked on
Verizon's $130 billion takeover of Vodafone's stake in their
joint venture, Verizon Wireless.
"He has been the longest-serving head of investment banking
on Wall Street, and our most senior client-facing executive,
responsible for driving some of the industry's highest profile
transactions," Jenkins said.
Jenkins has pledged to cut costs and improve profitability
in the investment bank, and will on May 8 unveil details of his
plan, which is expected to include the loss of thousands of
($1 = 0.5950 British Pounds)
(Additional reporting by Jonathan Leff in New York; Editing by