Barclays has made a structural reorganisation within its wealth division driven by its fast-growing South Asia business, notably for non-resident Indians.
The UK bank has expanded Vikram Malhotra’s role to international head of its Global South Asia Community (GSAC) business, overseeing teams in Dubai, London and Singapore.
This comes in addition to Malhotra’s duties as head of South Asia for the wealth and investment management division, the rebranded business formerly Barclays Wealth.
It follows the decision to add offshore Africa responsibilities to both Didier von Daeniken, head of wealth management for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and to Srinivas Siripurapu, head of Southeast and South Asia and offshore Africa.
Previously offshore Africa came under Nomkhita Nqweni and she remains market manager for wealth Africa and CEO of Absa Wealth, reporting to Von Daeniken and to Maria Ramos, CEO of Absa Group. Emmanuel Fievet, who used to be responsible for offshore Africa, has since taken on a role overseeing Europe and the UK.
A spokeswoman for the bank points to the emerging market synergies between Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and says this is part of an effort to centralise resources.
“There are a lot of non-resident Indians that offshore Africa encompasses, and NRIs globally are very similar in terms of their investment patterns,” she tells AsianInvestor.
Malhotra joined Barclays in February 2010 as head of South Asia within its wealth business. Since then the size of the team has more than tripled to over 30 people, with Barclays saying its AUM in this segment has doubled each year since 2010.
Overall Barclays has £186 billion ($285 billion), of which Asia is understood to account for around 10%. It has a staff of more than 1,000 bankers within its wealth and investment management business globally, of which around 100 are based in Asia.
That means that its South Asia-focused team makes up about a third of its Asia banker base.
“We continue to see strong growth momentum [in the South Asian business] and we expect assets under management to grow north of 40% annually over the next two years,” says Srinivas. “We already have the largest team of bankers serving this community and will continue to build up our teams globally.”
Barclays points to Datamonitor estimates that put the net worth of the 25-million strong Indian diaspora at $1 trillion, with the potential total wealth of the global South Asia community estimated at $500 billion.
Malhotra notes that South Asian clients tend to be more open to tactical opportunities in areas they are familiar with such as currency options. The bank adds it has seen particular interest in FX, vanilla swaps and structured swaps.
“As a unified global team we look forward to leveraging the immense synergies across the various centres,” adds Malhotra.
Barclays Wealth and Investment Management has its Asia hubs in Hong Kong and Singapore. It also has an onshore presence in India and a wealth management joint venture in Japan with Sumitomo-Mitsui and Nikko Cordial Securities.
Reporting to Srinivas in Singapore is Soh Chye Guan (market head Singapore and Malaysia), Errie Maksum (market head Indonesia) and Malhotra.
Its North Asia wealth operation is led by Pakorn Boonya-kurkul. Reporting to him are market heads Rickie Chan (Hong Kong), Januar Tjandra (Greater China, based in Hong Kong) and Carol Chen (Greater China, based in Singapore).