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Activist investor Sherborne buys 5 percent stake in Barclays, sends shares higher

  • Barclays CEO Jes Staley has been under pressure from shareholders to make the investment bank profitable.

Barclays Bank announced Monday morning that activist investor Sherborne has bought a 5.2 percent stake in the lender, as the bank strengthens its strategy.

Sherborne Investors is an investment fund focused on "turnaround" business. Edward Bramson, its CEO, has conducted a number of operational changes in companies across different sectors, from chemicals and consumer products to financial services and packaging industries.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley has been under pressure from shareholders to make the investment bank profitable.

"As with all its shareholders, Barclays will continue to engage with Sherborne, and welcomes them as a shareholder," Barclays said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Barclays shares rose to the top of the FTSE 100, up by nearly 4 percent. Investors interpreted the news as a sign that there will probably be positive changes in the investment bank.

Joseph Dickerson, managing director at Jefferies International, told CNBC on Monday that the interest in the bank's shares was caused by Sherborne's "good track record."

He cited the intervention of private equity group Electra as an example of how the investment fund has been successful in making businesses profitable.

Dickerson added over the phone that it is "too early to tell" what kind of changes Sherborne will want to do, but these could include a shakeup in the board. Jefferies has a hold rating on Barclays.