As layoffs continue at many banks, Barclays Wealth has appointed Steve Wong as Hong Kong head of investment specialists.

Wong, who started his new job yesterday, has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. In his most recent role as business development director at Citi Private Bank, his scope of responsibilities included setting up CitiÆs onshore private bank in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing, managing a team of investment specialists, and providing advisory solutions to high-net-worth clients.

At Barclays Wealth, Wong will oversee a team of investment specialists based in Hong Kong, offering advisory solutions.

ôNotwithstanding the current global economic turmoil, we remain convinced of the prospects of the private banking business in Asia, and we are focused on expanding and building capabilities to further enhance our range of services to our clients," says Didier von Daeniken, chief executive of Barclays Wealth in Asia-Pacific. "More than ever in these difficult times, we must continue to focus on providing advisory solutions tailored to clientsÆ needs. SteveÆs appointment will undoubtedly strengthen our client servicing and advisory expertise in North Asia, and ensure that Barclays Wealth is well-positioned to take advantage of market opportunities.ö

Earlier in Wong's career he worked as a senior investment counsellor at J.P. Morgan Chase and at Citi Private Bank, where he was responsible for providing investment consultancy and trade ideas across various asset classes to private banking clients in North Asia.