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Barclays reshuffles senior management team

The new appointees will be based in New York.

The British financial services provider Barclays has named John Miller as head of banking for the Americas, Paul Parker to oversee mergers and acquisitions (M&A) globally, and Ros Stephenson as chairman of banking worldwide.

Miller, who joined the bank in 2008, was head of the global financial sponsors and global industrial groups at Barclays Capital. In the newly created role, he will manage the bank’s US industry groups and local offices.

Parker is currently head of the global corporate finance and M&A Group at Barclays. In his new role, he will lead the bank’s M&A group globally.

In 2012, the bank combined its investment and banking units.

Stephenson had been head of global corporate finance and M&A in the investment-banking division at Barclays. Prior to this, she was co-head of corporate finance at Lehman Brothers.

“These changes reinvigorate and further strengthen our approach, while allowing Tom to focus more broadly on his wider responsibilities as co-chief executive,” reported Reuters citing memo sent to employees from Tom King and Eric Bommensath, the co-CEOs of the corporate and investment bank at Barclays.

The new appointees will be based in New York and report to King.

In addition, Barclays’ treasurer Benoit de Vitry, who has been associated with the bank for 13 years, will step down in December.

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No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.