Jeb Bush is resigning from Barclays, a London-based multinational bank where he was a paid adviser, in preparation for his likely 2016 presidential campaign.
A spokeswoman for Barclays confirmed on Thursday that Bush, a former Republican governor of Florida, would step down as a senior adviser to the company on Dec. 31.
"We want to thank Mr. Bush for his work over the years and wish him well in the future," Barclays spokeswoman Kerrie Cohen said in an e-mailed statement.
Bush's departure from Barclays was first reported Thursday morning by the Financial Times.
In anticipation of a presidential campaign, Bush has begun untangling himself from his complex web of financial and business interests, which include overseas investment funds. As a Bush confidant told The Washington Post last week, "He says he knows he has to wrap it up." The Barclays announcement is the first public step Bush has taken to step away from his businesses.
Bush's business activities are certain to draw fresh scrutiny during a campaign. Last week, a Bloomberg Businessweek story documented his portfolio of private equity investments and suggested they could harm Bush's candidacy much as Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital damaged his presidential hopes in 2012.
In an interview last weekend with WPLG, the ABC affiliate in Miami, Bush said comparing his ventures with Romney's Bain is "like comparing an apple to a peanut." And he strongly defended his private equity investments at Britton Hill.
"We have made three investments, we're doing it with serious partners, we're creating jobs, we're expanding business," Bush said. "I'm not ashamed of that at all. I think that practical experience is something that might be useful in Washington, D.C., to be honest with you. … Taking risk and creating jobs is something we ought to have more of.”