Barclays Wealth plans Asia expansion

SingaporeBarclays Wealth plans to expand its team of Hong Kong-based bankers and set up a greater China desk based out of Singapore, following a “four-fold” increase for its private investment banking services in the region.

The global wealth management division of Barclays says it has seen interest in its private investment banking services increase, especially among its Greater China clients.

Focussing on the greater China region will be part of Barclays' overall key Asia Pacific markets strategy in 2012, as it seeks to more than double assets under management in the sub-region in the next three years.

Barclays says the “rate of wealth creation is fuelling the growth of the high net worth population”, with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan seeing double-digit annual growth in percentage terms in the number of wealthy individuals.

Pakorn Boonya-kurkul, the head of north Asia, says Barclays has hired and continue to be on the look out for senior bankers based in both Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Hong Kong continues to be a key centre for us, while there is a strategic rationale for establishing a greater China desk in Singapore to complement our well established presence in Hong Kong,” Boonya-kurkul says. “This presents us the platforms for offering Greater China clients with choices for doing business with a Hong Kong-based or Singapore-based wealth manager. At the same time, it provides us the opportunity to tap on the deep private banking talent pool in both financial centres."

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