Barclays hires from Moelis for activism defense, ESG group

A branch of Barclays Bank is seen, in London

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) – Barclays PLC has hired an executive from a rival bank for its mergers, acquisitions, activism and ESG advisory group as demand increases from corporate clients for those services.

Peter da Silva Vint, an executive director in the shareholder advisory and activism defense group at Moelis & Co, will join Barclays as a director in a few months, a Barclays spokesperson said.

Barclays also hired a more junior executive from Citigroup Inc to join the team next month, the spokesperson added.

“We are looking to step up our game and broaden our reach so that in addition to providing advice on shareholder defense we can work with clients as a trusted adviser and partner on their ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategy and positioning,” said Daniel Kerstein, managing director and head of Barclays activism defense and ESG advisory group.

The Barclays hires come as more investors prod corporations to consider spinning off business units or even selling the whole company. Activists are also making ESG demands on executive pay, diversity and board composition. Specifically, they often want all directors to stand for election annually, rather than serving staggered terms.

The activism defense and ESG advisory team works closely with Barclays’s sustainable and impact banking (SIB) group that focuses on sustainable growth strategy and finance.

Da Silva Vint joined Moelis in 2018 from the investment stewardship group at BlackRock.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)