Barclays Boosts Asian Prime Brokerage, Further Growth Planned

May 18 2010 | 10:55am ET

Barclays Capital has “completed the hiring cycle” for its Asian prime brokerage business this year. But the firm plans further growth in a region expected to drive the expansion of the hedge fund industry in the near future.

The firm has boosted the size of its Asian prime brokerage by about 65%, Bloomberg News reports. While that  meets its growth targets for 2010, Barclays plans further expansion n the region next year, according to Ryan Bacher, head of Asian prime services.

“Once we build scale in terms of onshore Asian personnel, we will then look to target the Asian universe aggressively,” he told Bloomberg. For the time being, Barclays is focusing its attention on U.S. hedge funds seeking to build a presence in Asia.

Barclays is also building up its London prime brokerage team, with a dozen hires planned. The firm added Lehman Brothers’ North American business, including its prime brokerage operations, in 2008.

Barclays certainly isn’t alone in its focus on Asian prime brokerage. Citigroup has been aggressively expanding its prime finance teams around the world, with a particular focus on Asia—hiring eight professionals for its Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, Australia, offices last month. Also last month, Bank of America Merrill Lynch snared Morgan Stanley veteran Futoshi Ago for its Japanese prime brokerage.

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