Barclays Private Clients is expanding its private banking team in Asia with the appointment of Agnes Choi as the new head for South Asia.

Choi arrives from Morgan Stanley, and has longstanding client relationships across the region, but particularly in Malaysia. Her role will give her responsibility for Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia. She will report to Asian private banking boss, Nigel Sze, who has been building the bank's franchise since he joined last year.

Choi will be responsible for six relationship managers in South Asia, although Barclays hopes to double that number by the end of 2003. It is looking to source clients with a minimum of $2 million.

Sze says he is being very selective in his hiring, and points out it is not easy to find the right people. Choi has 20 years of experience in the Asian private banking field. "We're on the verge of hiring four more private bankers in Asia," he says. "All have at least 15 years experience. I'm hiring slowly because I want to hire high quality people."

Barclays Private Clients has over one million clients worldwide.