Barclay’sBusiness Strategy


Thecase study involves the CEO of Barclays, Matt Barrett, who wasappointed to head the business after deciding to come from hisretirement period. The experienced financial expert was tasked withthe responsibility of changing the bank from the United Kingdompowerhouse into a firm with global influence. The bank`s board ofdirectors felt that the organization had lost its way was instead ofbeing regarded as one of the best it was seen as one of the rest.Between 1980 and 2000, the bank had fallen in market capitalizationranks from 4 to 22 and the directors were worried that the problemcould worsen [ CITATION Bue07 l 1033 ].

Thecase study shows how the new CEO was determined to change thecompany`s fortunes through a well laid down plan and strategy. Italso shows Matt Barrett`s success and how he managed to make the bankmore profitable within two years of operation. He came up with astrategy of making the bank go global and hoped that theorganization`s board of directors would support his plan.Thebiggest challenge that stood between the CEO and his plans wasconvincing the directors that the company should focus on goingglobal while maintaining the United Kingdom branch as a franchise.


Thebiggest problem with Barclays was quickly losing ground in a highlycompetitive environment, and Matt Barrett felt that the problems wereas a result of lack of leadership and a small global presence. As thebank`s CEO, he began introducing changes that he felt would help theorganization regain its competitive edge in the financial servicesindustry. To achieve such dreams, Barrett began transforming theessential characteristics of the bank`s corporate structure bymeeting employees and managers and explaining to them what he wantedto make. The CEO, also, felt that the bank had numerous internal andexternal problems the chief one being that the company hadinefficient leadership at the top. He, therefore, felt that even ifthe employees worked hard, it was fruitless as long as the directionat the top did not offer the desired directions that the organizationneeded to take. For instance, Barrett noted that the top executivecommittee was inefficient since they took a long time to make adecision hence, making the bank becomes slow in implementing itsplans. Therefore, the CEO felt that for things to change, he had toreconstitute the committee to include people who shared and believedin his dream for the organization. In any company or business, suchdrastic changes often lead to resistance from individuals who wantthings to remain as they were in the past, but Barrett was determinedto implement the changes.

Anothermajor problem was that the company was continuously underperforminguntil Matt Barrett realized that he had to change the corporateculture of the organization if any meaningful positive result was tobe achieved. The task of convincing all employees and executives tomodify and adopt the new changes was not an easy one, but the CEO wasdetermined to push through. Nevertheless, he managed to hold regularmeetings with staff members of various departments and explained tothe dream for the organization and then asked them to support him.

Thebank also had the problem of witnessing an extra cost base, whichmeant that the cost of production was high. Matt Barrett realizedthat Barclay`s cost base was more than its competitors and, thus,decided to push it down. The CEO decided to implement strategiesmeant to help the bank reduce its costs of operation so that it couldincrease profitability.

Barclay`sInternal and External Environments

Oneof the main internal issues dealt with in the case analysis is thebank`s overall performance. The new CEO transformed the banksperformance making it one of the best banks in both Europe and theUnited Kingdom. With assets exceeding 320 billion euros, it can besaid that Matt Barrett`s strategies worked well. The second internalissue addressed in the analysis is the management of the bank fromthe case study, it can be observed that the bank had five CEOsbetween 1995 and 1999. Matt Barrett came in and changed how thingswere done, and the bank was on its way to profitability. He furtherimproved the overall infrastructure of the bank and also itscorporate structure. As the CEO, Barrett focused on changing theflow of information between the leadership and the employees in aneffort of streamlining operations.

Oneof the external features, addressed in the case, is the targetmarket, whereby Matt Barrett was focusing on expanding the bank tohave a global presence. The bank changed from being a United Kingdombank into a global one, which was ranked among the best banks inEurope. Competition is also another external feature addressed in thecase study. Barclays faces much competition from banks that havelarge asset bases and also have the trust of emerging markets. Toovercome such competition, the organization has to position itself asa global bank and focus on increasing its market share.

Theprinciple stakeholders, analyzed in the case study, are divided intotwo categories primary and secondary ones. The primary stakeholdersinclude individuals whose main aim is to see the bank grow andsucceed globally. The goal of the bank should be to perform well inits operations to ensure that the shareholders get good returns fromtheir investments. The customer is another primary stakeholder, andthus the organization should ensure that the services provided leadto the overall satisfaction of the customer. Employees are secondarystakeholders, and they also need to be motivated so that they canperform their duties diligently.


Iagree with the new strategy of the bank of taking the necessary stepsto ensure that it remains a global organization and not just a bankoperating in the United Kingdom. The implementation of the strategyled to some benefits for all stakeholders including customers,shareholders, and employees. Focusing on the different market needs,also, ensures that the company has diversity in generating profits.


Buechel, B., &amp Moncef, A. (2007). Barclays: Matt Barrett’s Journey – Winning Hearts And Minds . Credit Lyonna`s Securities , 49-53.