Barclays Wealth, the private banking arm of Barclays, yesterday announced that it has made 12 new director-level hires in Singapore and Hong Kong during the past few months.

“We continue to add depth to our advisory and investment solutions capabilities, reinforcing our commitment to providing best in class advice to our ultra-high and high-net-worth clients,” Didier von Daeniken, chief executive of Barclays Wealth Asia-Pacific, said in a press release.

In July last year, we reported that Barclays was on a mission to build out its Southeast Asia team, and these hires are evidence that it is following through. Nine of the new hires are in Singapore and include Benjamin Yeo, who has joined as a director responsible for managing the research, economics and strategy teams across Asia-Pacific. He has more than 20 years' experience in the industry and was previously at Bank of Singapore, where he was head of equity research.

Eddie Tan and Lim Ming How have been appointed directors and will be focusing on Singapore and Malaysia. Tan joined from J.P. Morgan Private Bank where she served ultra-high-net-worth clients in Southeast Asia. She has close to 20 years of financial services experience. How joined from Credit Suisse Private Bank and brings more than 10 years of private banking and wealth management experience.

Kirk Tan has been appointed as a director responsible for structuring credit solutions for ultra-high and high-net-worth clients. He joined from Citi Private Bank where he was responsible for credit risk management and credit product programme development. He has 20 years of experience in private banking credit structuring and corporate banking.

Amrit Uppal and Nakul Beri have come on board as directors in the South Asia team. Uppal joined from Credit Suisse in the UK and has 12 years of private banking experience. Beri joined from Barclays Wealth in India where he has been serving Indian high-net-worth clients for the past three years. He has more than 15 years of financial services experience across private banking, investment banking and corporate banking.

Sara Mi has been appointed director of active advisory for Southeast Asia. She will be responsible for providing investment-themed advisory solutions, as well as short-term, tactical trade ideas across various asset classes. She joined from HSBC Private Bank where she worked in a similar capacity. She has more than 20 years of financial services experience, including 12 years in various senior investment advisory roles.

Michelle Le Herissier has taken on the role as director and head of Barclays Wealth Trustees (Singapore). She joined from Cititrust in Singapore and has a total of 17 years of experience in trust administration across various financial institutions.

Finally, Mustafa Mahmood will join Barclays Wealth today as a director and private banker in the South Asia team. He was previously a director in the private investor product group at Goldman Sachs in Singapore. He has close to 20 years of investment banking experience.

Barclays Wealth has also been on a hiring spree in Hong Kong. The bank announced yesterday that Barbara Yenson joined from RBS Coutts in January as a director. She has close to 25 years of banking experience, of which the past 20 were in private banking roles across various financial institutions.

Also in January, Sonia Lee was hired as a director of active advisory for North Asia. She is responsible for providing investment-themed advisory solutions, as well as short-term, tactical trade ideas across various asset classes to ultra-high and high-net-worth clients across Greater China. She joined from Natixis Asia and has more than 20 years of financial services experience. 

Earlier this month, Joanna Ho was appointed director and head of wealth advisory for North Asia. She is responsible for overseeing the provision of trust structuring and wealth advisory services to ultra-high and high-net-worth clients in North Asia. She joined from HSBC Private Bank where she was in charge of wealth structuring solutions for wealthy clients in Greater China. She has 17 years of wealth advisory experience.

Barclays Wealth is clearly trying to expand its offering in the region. In November, it set up a booking centre in Hong Kong – its second in Asia, after Singapore. In July 2010, it established a private banking joint venture in Japan with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Nikko Cordial Securities to provide wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals in Japan. And, in June 2010, it obtained a licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore to conduct trust business in Singapore, and to provide a regulated platform for global clients seeking trust services out of Singapore.