Andrew Robert Fowell Buxton (b.1939), is a member of one of the historic banking families, prominent mainly in the Gurney group of banks in East Anglia, and reached the Barclays helm on merit. Educated at Winchester and Oxford, and after national service with the Grenadier Guards, he joined Barclays as a ‘special list’ recruit in 1963 at Shepherd’s Bush branch. Attachments in New York and California were followed by appointments as assistant manager at Slough and as local directors’ assistant at Ipswich where in 1971 he succeeded to a local directorship, followed quickly by directorships in London and at Lombard Street.
He was appointed as an assistant general manager in 1975, an executive local director at Pall Mall local head office in 1976, a UK director in 1978, and in 1979 a regional director and general manager with responsibility for the bank’s corporate division.
He was appointed to the main board in 1984 and became vice-chairman in 1985. In 1987 he became deputy managing director of the Group, with responsibility for co-ordinating the activities of overseas operations, Corporate division, the International Banking group and BZW. In 1988 he became managing director and was elected as deputy chairman in 1991.
Andrew Buxton was the first person to hold the specific office of Group Chief Executive when Sir John Quinton relinquished his executive duties as Chairman from 1 May 1992. This followed the recommendation of the Cadbury Committee on corporate governance that the duties of chair and chief executive officer should be separated. However, as Mr Buxton had already been nominated to succeed Sir John as Chairman, this meant that until a new CEO could be chosen, Mr Buxton held both posts, which he did for the whole of 1993.
The 1990s saw great technical and operational change, and Mr Buxton’s chairmanship witnessed the introduction of live counter automation, ‘Barclaycall’ telephone banking, the beginnings of home computer banking for personal and business customers, and new services and products such as Premier Banking and packaged bank accounts. Two significant business developments in this period were the acquisition of the business that became Barclays Global Investors, and the part-sale and reorganization of BZW in 1996-97 which emerged as Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of the Group.
Andrew Buxton stepped down as chairman in 1999 but continued as a consultant to the Group. External appointments included a directorship of the Bank of England.