In another 2016 signal, Jeb Bush to step down from Barclays

WASHINGTON – Taking another step toward a presidential run, Jeb Bush is resigning his advisory role with British banking giant Barclays.

A Bush spokesman said Thursday that the former Florida governor would leave his senior adviser position at the end of the year. Bush has been with the banking and financial services firm since 2009. An aide said he counselled business clients around the world on economic regulations and policies.

Bush’s team would not discuss compensation related to the departure.

The potential Republican presidential contender also plans to stop adding paid speeches to his schedule, although he will honour a handful already booked for early next year.

The news comes two days after Bush announced plans to “actively explore” a White House bid. The son and brother of former GOP presidents, Bush becomes an early favourite of a Republican establishment that’s eager to retake the presidency in 2016 after consecutive losses.

Bush’s ties to the financial world may be a political challenge. Opposition researchers in both parties have already begun sifting through his connections seeking fodder for attack. And Bush has yet to step away from a series of other complicated business interests.

He raised more than $60 million as chairman and manager of a new private equity fund as recently as September.

Advisers have long said that Bush would review his business ties should he run for president. It’s unclear if or when Bush would distance himself from his private equity work or corporate boards, although past presidential candidates usually did so years before launching their campaigns.