James “Jes” Staley ’79 P’11, a member of Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees and the CEO of Barclays, is under investigation by British authorities for his relationship with the late sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to a statement released Thursday morning by the bank.
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulatory organization based in the United Kingdom, is investigating how Staley characterized his relationship with Epstein to Barclays before his appointment to CEO in 2015, and how the bank subsequently reported the relationship to British regulators. The investigation began last year.
During his 30-year tenure at J.P. Morgan, Staley managed Epstein’s finances between 2000 and 2013, even after an internal investigation recommended that the bank drop Epstein as a client. Staley’s name and contact information appeared in Epstein’s now-infamous “black book” of personal and professional contacts. The entry for Staley listed his work address, home address, email address and six different phone numbers, including one for his residence in Southampton, N.Y.. Epstein also named Staley as a reference in a 2014 application for a bank license in the Virgin Islands, according to a recent report by the New York Times.
In 2018, Staley was reprimanded and fined by FCA for investigating a whistleblower complaint at Barclays.
In an email to the Orient, Senior Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Scott Hood wrote that Staley will stay on as a member of the Board.
“The Board of Trustees takes seriously any questions about the character and judgment of its members. Last fall, the Governance Committee of the Board conducted a thorough review of the situation and the timeline. The full board was engaged throughout this process and had a thorough discussion when the Governance Committee concluded its work. Following that discussion, the Board agreed with the Governance Committee’s unanimous recommendation that there was nothing in Jes Staley’s actions or behavior that warranted the Board taking any action,” Hood wrote. “If any new information comes to light as a result of the Financial Conduct Authority investigation, the Board will consider it at that time.”