Barclays wealth to expand in Asia, US

Barclays Wealth plans to add experienced bankers to its teams in Asia and the US as it aims to grow its worldwide assets by 70 per cent.

The wealth management unit of Barclays hopes to take advantage of the increasing number of super-rich individuals in Asia, which is enjoying higher economic growth than the West.

Chief executive Thomas Kalaris said that the unit wanted to hire 40-60 workers to add to the more than 100 employees it has in Asia, spread between Singapore, India and Hong Kong.

It has faced strong competition from its rivals for the bankers, he added.

The bank has set a target to increase its assets under management from the current £170bn to £290bn, and also plans to add to its 250 US workers.

Kalaris said many clients were currently wary of investing due to the turmoil in financial markets caused by the ongoing Eurozone crisis.

"Broadly speaking, our clients, as you would expect, have over the course of the last six months held very high cash positions, and they have been conservative in their outlook with regards to the economy and with regard to market volatility," he said.

On Wednesday the bank announced the appointment of Carol Chen to the role of Market Head, Greater China.

Chen will work from Singapore and the bank said her unit would aim to build the core market segments of China and Taiwan.