Barclays Global Investors (BGI), the worldÆs largest global provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), has strengthened its team in Asia. It has hired three new executives, promoted two to more senior positions, and relocated one from Europe.

The new hires are Brent Kao, client director for Taiwan; Tan Puay Lit, client director for Singapore; and William Chow, portfolio manager for iShares Asia ex-Japan.

Veronica Lam and Catherine Barker have moved on to more senior roles. Lam is head of client relationship management while Barker is head of sales strategy for iShares Asia-ex Japan.

Yifei Li, business development officer for iShares Asia ex-Japan, has relocated from Europe.

With the new hires and the added expertise in client servicing capabilities and institutional sales, BGI hopes to strengthen both its institutional business and its iShares ETFs platform in Asia, which is a key area of growth for the firm.

ôRealising the market potential, we have made a number of significant new hires across the region to strengthen our regional sales team and client servicing capabilities,ö says Mark Talbot, CEO of BGI Asia ex-Japan. ôWe remain dedicated to expanding our footprint in Asia and will continue to integrate our successful global model with strong expertise from local professionals.ö

Over the past year, iSharesÆ headcount in Asia ex-Japan has doubled and is expected to continue to grow in line with the demand for ETF products.

Based in Hong Kong, Kao is responsible for maintaining client relationships and providing service to all institutional clients in Taiwan. Prior to joining BGI, he worked for Citigroup Global Markets Asia where he held the position of fixed income, currency, and commodity sales in Hong Kong.

Based in Singapore, Tan manages relationships with institutional investors in Singapore and the region. Prior to joining BGI, he was part of the Singapore Government Investment CorporationÆs external managers division that was responsible for non-equity investments.

Based in Hong Kong, Chow is responsible for iShares ETFs for Asia ex-Japan. Prior to joining iShares, he was a portfolio manager at State Street Global Advisors in Hong Kong where he was responsible for various institutional equity index strategies, asset allocation and currency hedging strategies as well as ETFs.

Based in Hong Kong, Lam was previously BGIÆs client director responsible for managing relationships with Hong Kong and Korean institutional clients. Veronica's new role expands her responsibilities to include institutional clients across Asia ex-Japan. Prior to joining BGI, she worked at Fidelity Investments where she was responsible for business development in the institutional business group.

Based in Singapore, Barker is responsible for managing iShares sales strategies across Asia ex- Japan. She was most recently BGIÆs head of client service and marketing for Asia ex-Japan. Prior to that, she spent seven years at BGI Europe where she covered cash management, index product strategy and more recently was part of the team targeting financial institutions in Asia ex-Japan.

Based in Hong Kong, Li is responsible for business development for iShares Asia ex-Japan with a focus on the Greater China region. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Li was with iShares Europe for three years and was responsible for business development in Germany, where she worked with a number of clients from asset managers to insurance companies.