Banks getting into venture capital? The British bank, which is still struggling to deliver on its growth strategy following years of restructuring, has decided get into the VC business to chase higher returns. Barclays UK Ventures plans to focus on promoting innovation, developing new business areas and, hopefully, drive higher returns. The bank looks to build out a full team to analyze potential partnerships and possibly take equity stakes in tech firms. The goal is to “add billions” to Barclays revenue by 2025. Looks like Barclays is following the lead of Santander which already has a venture capital style arm and it seems to have worked well for them. OR, Barclays could just set up a cryptocurrency trading desk and capture some big bucks. Uh, or not.
(Bill Taylor/Managing Editor)
“LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays (BARC.L) said it has set up a venture capital-style unit to drive innovation and returns within its UK business.
The British bank has struggled to deliver on its growth strategy after a decade of restructuring, with investment banking at the core of Chief Executive Jes Staley’s plan for higher returns, despite an underwhelming performance.
Barclays UK Ventures, which will be led by former head of group strategy Ben Davey, will focus on developing new business lines, promoting innovation and driving returns.
The bank will build a team of technologists, developers and entrepreneurs that, working closely with Barclays UK operations, will form partnerships with or take equity stakes in technology firms, Davey said in a statement on Monday.
“The way we will work as a team will look and feel very much like a start-up or scale-up operation,” he added.
Barclays has come under growing investor pressure to realize profits, with activist investor Edward Bramson expected to ramp this up after taking a stake last month.
Davey told the Financial Times that he hoped the unit could add billions to the bank’s revenues by 2025…”