Roger Jenkins, one of Barclays' top earners and the man credited as the architect behind the bank avoiding a taxpayer bailout last year, is planning to quit.
The decision comes just a week after David Walker recommended that City institutions be forced to give details of the amounts earned by their top-paid managers. Mr Jenkins, as head of Barclays' principal investments business and chairman of its Middle Eastern investment banking operation, is not on Barclays' main board, but is reported to have earned as much as £40m in some years.
Mr Jenkins was credited with helping Barclays to avoid a taxpayer bailout at the height of the financial crisis last year, having brokered a deal for the Qatari Investment Authority — a Doha-based sovereign wealth fund — to invest more than £7bn in the bank. Barclays has come under less pressure than Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, which both got significant amounts of taxpayer money, to increase lending.
It is expected that Mr Jenkins, who has spent most of the last 30 years with Barclays, will set up an advisory business acting for investors, including sovereign wealth funds.
It will have offices in London, the US and crucially the Middle East, where Mr Jenkins is well-known, both in his own right and through his wife, Dijana, who is an influential businesswoman in the region.
The move will also free Mr Jenkins to move to the US, where he now has his family home.
Barclays declined to comment yesterday, but sources close to the situation said the timing of the decision had nothing to do with the Walker recommendations, and that details of Mr Jenkins' pay were already widely known.
Mr Jenkins is reported to have been in discussion with the bank for some time, but is thought to have agreed to stay during the banking crisis last year as Barclays looked at ways of shoring up its capital position.
It is thought that he will act as an outside consultant for Barclays in his new job.