Jeff Barber, managing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers who helped take some of the region’s best-known companies public on Wall Street, is retiring.
Barber, 55, steps down from the Raleigh office of the financial services firm as of June 30. Replacing him is Terry Bowling, who will carry the title of office leader as part of a PwC reorganization. Bowling joined the Raleigh office several months ago from PwC’s Atlanta operation.
“I’m not going away,” Barber told WRAL Local Tech Wire in an interview. “People will still see me around, but not in the same capacity.
“I’ve thought about doing a lot of different things. Right now, my No. 1 goal is to do corporate board work, perhaps on an audit committee or as audit chair,” he added. “I really think I have the credentials to do that.”
Having vested in PwC’s retirement plan, Barber said he chose to retire while he was “still young enough to do something else.” Since PwC has a mandatory retirement age of 60, Barber called his career move a “five-year decision.”
In addition to handling IPOs and financial services, Barber has been intensely involved in the North Carolina venture capital investment community and in numerous startups.
Barber helped take Cree, Pharmaceutical Product Development, Red Hat and Inspire Pharmaceuticals through public stock offerings. He also worked with Quintiles Transnational when the contract research organization decided to go private.
“That was probably more complicated than an IPO,” Barber said.
Leaving PwC was not an easy decision, however.
“This has been my life,” Barber said. “I am fully vested, and I’m fortunate to be in a position to do this so, I wanted to do this while I was young enough to do something else.
“There is no question that for 31 years of my life, I have lived and breathed the world of PwC. There is no question I am going to miss this practice.”
In addition to working with many of the area’s technology companies, Barber also participated on many boards and was especially active in the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. Barber presented, as well, quarterly venture conference updates at which he would discuss investment trends and opportunities and quiz guest panelists about the latest happenings in the venture industry.
Barber will play the host one last time at the next PwC “Shaking the Money Tree” event on May 15 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Cary.
“I’ve been doing these for over 10 years,” Barber said with a chuckle. “I told them I’d do one more.”
Barber came to Raleigh 20 years ago when he achieved partner status with PwC. He and his wife, Libby, have been married 29 years. They have a daughter, Cottie, who works in real estate in Raleigh, and a son, Drew, who is a junior at the University of North Carolina. Barber earned his accounting degree at the University of Kentucky.