Lai was with Deutsche until about a month ago, departing the firm after an internal reconfiguration is said to have left him without a role. Previously, Deutsche had organized its debt capital markets business on a north - south axis, with Lai head of the south Asian team.

The removal of the split teams resulted in the appointment of two new DCM co-heads -- CH Tee (the former head of North Asia) and Rahul Mookerjee. Lai resigned shortly afterwards.

On Friday, 15 of Lai's former colleagues also handed in their resignations to stunned Deutsche executives. These DCM bankers were covering India, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. They are all said to be joining Barclays, significantly boosting the British house's presence in the southeast Asian debt theatre.

Privately however, Deutsche oficials do not expect the full 15 to leave, thinking that one or two may be persuaded to stay.

The following are the names of the new hires as confirmed by a Barclays spokesman in London. The bank would not, however, confirm that Lai has joined. Lai himself could not be located for comment.

  • Kunnigar Triyangkulsri, a managing director, based in Bangkok    
  • Niratchara Siriamphunkul, based in Bangkok    
  • Suttawin Teparkum, based in Bangkok    
  • Teerapong Ninvoraskul, based in Bangkok    
  • Piyajit Ruckeriyapong, based in Bangkok    
  • Chris Hui, based in Hong Kong    
  • Patrick Kwan, based in Hong Kong    
  • Sueh Mei Wong, based in Hong Kong    
  • Raju Shukla, based in Hong Kong    
  • Piyush Gupta, based in Mumbai    
  • Andrew Loh, based in Singapore    
  • Sity-Leo Samudera, based in Singapore    
  • Taswin Zakaria, based in Singapore    
  • Wenda Rusli, based in Singapore    
  • Miliyat Multopo Tjakra, based in Singapore

It is unclear who these bankers will report to and what their specific responsibilities will be.

Barclay's aggressive hiring comes soon after its appointment of Grant Kvalheim from Deutsche Bank to run its global debt business. That hire entailed some 11 bankers moving with Kvalheim from Deutsche to Barclays in the US and Europe. In the Asian context, the hires allow Barclays to start concentrating on the domestic debt business in southeast Asia, as well as establisihng stronger credentials in the international markets.

Barclays also recently announced that its new chairman and CEO for Asia would be Robert Morrice, previously the bank's global head of debt capital markets. This move and these hires show how serious the firm is about beefing up its headcount in the busy Asian debt capital markets.