ABN Amro said it had appointed Alastair Barr as head of its equities business in Australia, in a bid to increase market share and client position in the country.

Barr is returning to Sydney after 10 years working in Australian equities in London. He says he is looking forward to the "challenge" of combining ABN Amro's strong European and Asian equities franchises with its experience in the Australian market.

"In global equities markets, ABN Amro has a top five trading position in eight major European market and a top five position in Asian markets. To match this in Australia we need to make sure that our clients understand that we are providing an equal or better level of service than our competitors," he said.

ABN Amro Australia chief executive Steven Crane said the company was investing in its Australian equity operations "to ensure we are delivering ... a first rate level of service to clients. Combined with our new 50% joint venture in ABN Amro Morgans, we are expanding our range of derivative products and improving our ability to bring new issues to the Australian market.

"Alastair's appointment is part of our commitment and determination to do this," he said.