Barclays lures Atkin from brewer

Barclays has recruited Jane Atkin, the former MD of Edelman-owned CSR consultancy First & 42nd, as chief operating officer. Atkin is to join the bank's corporate affairs team, which is overseen by corporate affairs director Stephen Whitehead.

Atkin will join in October from brewer SABMiller, where she was a senior consultant reporting to group corporate affairs director Sue Clark.

‘Jane will support our ambition of becoming a worldwide top-five financial institution, through evaluation and corporate messaging,' said Whitehead, to whom Atkin will report.

Separately, Barclays has also hired Bell Pottinger Corporate & Financial account director Robin Tozer. He joined last month as corporate PR manager.

The hires come after Barclays slashed 35 per cent of its 300-strong comms team in a Whitehead-led restructure (PRWeek, 24 March). He said the cutbacks were ‘painful'.

The UK's third-largest bank has made headlines of late for job-cutting across its operations, axing 350 jobs from its business banking operations only last week. The cuts are part of a wider plan that will see 1,200 staff losses and the disappearance of the Woolwich name from British high streets.

Woolwich will become a brand name for mortgages having been bought by Barclays in October 2000.

Atkin began working for SABMiller just ten months ago. Prior to that she had revealed plans to launch a consultancy venture backed by Andrew Grant's Tulchan Communications (PRWeek, 24 June 2005). These were later put on hold (PRWeek, 6 October 2005) and subsequently abandoned.

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