Barclays Capital (Europe) at a Glance

The Buzz

  • "Better shape than the rest"
  • "Aggressive and arrogant”
  • "Moved up the ladder after they acquired Lehman Brothers"
  • "Not really an international player"

About Barclays Capital (Europe)

Big Barclays

Barclays Capital is the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC, a venerable London-based bank that dates back to 1690, provides retail and commercial banking, credit card, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services.  It has a presence in more than 50 countries worldwide, with over 48 million customers and 155,000 employees.

The bank’s retail and commercial operations are provided through six main units: UK retail banking, Barclays Commercial Bank, Barclaycard, GRCB (global retail and commercial banking) emerging markets, GRCB Western Europe and Absa (the largest South Africa financial services institution in terms of customer deposits and loans as well as online banking; Barclays acquired Absa in 2005).  Its investment banking and investment management operations are provided through three main divisions: Barclays Capital (the investment banking unit), Barclays Global Investors (the asset management unit) and Barclay’s Wealth (its wealth management business).

Barclays Capital is known as a powerhouse in the fixed income marketplace.  Often referred to as BarCap, it was created in 1997 to provide financing, risk management and advisory services to corporate, government and institutional clients around the world.  It also offers foreign exchange management, capital raising, and equity and interest rate services. Although it's younger than many of its peers, Barclays Capital's relationship with Barclays Bank PLC allowed it to grow at an astonishing rate: today it has offices in 29 countries and 20,000 employees.

The main clients of Barclays Capital’s services are large corporate, institutional and government clients, which are offered finance, advisory and risk management solutions.  The firm has expertise in a wide variety of products and services, including bonds, commodities, convertible bonds, credit products, electronic trading, emerging markets, equity derivatives, equity origination, foreign exchange, fund-linked derivatives, fund solutions, index products, inflation-linked products, interest rate products, leveraged finance, loans, M&A, market making, municipal finance, prime services, private equity, research, restructuring, securitisation and structured investment products, among others.

Born to goldsmiths

Barclays Bank PLC can trace its roots back to the City of London in the 17th Century, when city streets were paved with goldsmith bankers who financed colonialism by funding monarchs and merchants.  John Freame and Thomas Gould were two such goldsmiths, and set up their own firm in 1690.  In 1736, a man by the name of James Barclay married into Freame’s family, laying the foundation for what would eventually become Barclays Bank.  By the beginning of the 20th century, Barclays was one of the five-biggest banks in the UK.  In 1925, Barclays merged with the Colonial Bank, the Anglo Egyptian Bank and the National Bank of South Africa, establishing operations in the Middle East, Africa and the West Indies.  The investment banking business, Barclays Capital, was born in 1986â€"the year Argentina beat England in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.  It was also the year Barclays Bank became the first British bank to be listed on both the Tokyo and New York Stock Exchanges.

Barclays buys the Brothers

More recently, Barclays became famous for buying big in New York, agreeing to acquire Lehman Brothers’ US investment banking business for $2 billion in September 2008.  The deal, struck just one day after a struggling Lehman had filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, included Lehman's equity, fixed income and M&A advisory units, as well as approximately 10,000 Lehman employees.  The deal also included Lehman’s trading assets, which had an estimated value of US$72 billion; liabilities worth US$68 billion dollars; Lehman’s New York City headquarters; and two offices in neighbouring New Jersey, with a combined market value of US$1.5 billion.  Barclays expressed delight at the acquisition, making clear an ambition to increase its presence in the U.S.  Barclay’s Capital’s chief executive, Bob Diamond, confirmed the joy when announcing the Lehman deal, stating, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Barclays.† A few months after the Lehman buy, in January 2009, Investment Dealers’ Digest named Diamond its Best Banker of the Year for 2008.

Letting the good times roll

Few were able to compete with Barclays Capital in 2008 when it came to sweeping up the honours.  International Financing Review and IFR Asia named BarCap the Interest Rate Derivatives House of the Year, Supra/Sovereign/Agency/Regional Bond House of the Year, and Australia and New Zealand Bond House of the Year.  Barclays Capital was also named Most Innovative in Inflation Products and Most Innovative in Commodities at The Banker magazine’s prestigious 2008 Investment Banking awards.  In November 2008, it won a slew of awards from FX Week (Best Bank for E-Trading, Best Bank for FX in London, Best Bank for Euro/Sterling and Best Bank for Dollar/Sterling).  And in October 2008, it was named Structured Retail House of the Year by Derivatives Week, No. 1 in equity research (for the sixth year in a row) by Institutional Investor, and Best Syndicate and Best Structuring Bank by Euroweek.



Barclays Capital (Europe)

5 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 4BB
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7623 2323


  • Employer Type: Subsidiary
  • President & CEO: Robert E. Diamond Jr.
  • 2010 Employees: 23,000

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers