Chicago part of Barclays Wealth hiring push

By Reuters
Posted Dec. 6, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.

Barclays Wealth, rapidly bulking up its U.S. business in the wake of the financial crisis, intends to accelerate its hiring efforts over the next two years.

The Barclays Plc. unit on Monday said it hired seven advisers with a combined $2.24 billion in client assets and who generated $17 million of revenue in the past year. The new investment representatives expand the London-based bank’s presence in Boston, New York, Atlanta and Chicago.

Barclay’s says it has hired 50 advisers in the Americas this year, giving it 250 representatives across the region.

Over the next few years, the bank intends to expand its Americas ranks to as many as 600 investor representatives.

“We’re planning to accelerate our pace in 2011 and 2012 and we intend to be an important factor in the marketplace for the highest-end financial advisers,” Mitch Cox, Barclays Wealth’s Americas boss and its global head of research and investments, said in an interview.

Joining Barclays are James Egan of AllianceBernstein’s Bernstein Global Wealth Management, a 20-year veteran who will work as an adviser in Boston. The Boston office also adds two Wilmington Trust advisers: Michael Reiser, chief investment officer for the Northeast, and Ria Hart.

In New York, Barclays hired George Kolodka, an adviser with 29 years in the business. He most recently worked as a principal and senior adviser at Bernstein.

Jamie Weeks and Hunter Hamm join Barclays in Atlanta. Weeks for the past eight years worked at UBS Global Asset Management, responsible for mutual fund, managed account and hedge fund sales in the Southeast. Hamm has 13 years of experience and was until recently a UBS financial adviser.

And in Chicago, Barclays hired Michael Schwartz, who for the past two years led a team at JPMorgan Private Wealth Management advising wealthy families and business owners.

Barclays also announced Monday that it hired John Cregan as its regional manager in ritzy Palm Beach, Florida. Cregan joins Barclays Wealth from Hotchkiss Associates, a Chicago wealth management firm where he has served as chief executive.

“We are finding our name resonates well,” said Cox. “Barclays has been attractive to investment representatives from private banks, asset managers and from wirehouse competitors.”

Barclays, which emerged from the global credit crisis in better shape than most banks, earlier this year earmarked $500 million of funds to help build out a top-tier global wealth management business.

These funds have helped Barclays invest in new technology systems and hire dozens of experienced bankers.

Since 2006, Barclays Wealth more than doubled client-facing staff and nearly doubled client assets under management. The unit currently manages about $251 billion in assets and has 1,550 client-facing staff worldwide.

In the United States, Barclays added about 50 investment representatives this year and a similar number last year. The bank also added six regional managers this year, like Cregan, as well as senior managers in credit and investment products.

Barclays jump-started its U.S. push with its acquisition of Lehman Brothers out of bankruptcy in September 2008. With that deal came Lehman’s private client business and 230 investment representatives.

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