Japanese megabank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Barclays Wealth, and securities company Nikko Cordial Securities (which is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMBC) have signed a joint venture agreement to provide wealth management services to high-net-worth individuals in Japan. 

The JV will be called SMBC Barclays Wealth Division and will operate out of Nikko, leveraging the company's operational platform as well as its related service support.

The thinking behind the JV is that it will complement SMBC's current corporate banking and consumer banking dedicated offerings. High-net-worth clients of SMBC, who will be referred to the JV, are expected to benefit from the product expertise of Barclays and Nikko, and the broad range of products and investment solutions made available to them through open architecture. 

The JV is co-headed by Yukihide Sakai (seconded by Barclays), Hisatsugu Yoshida (seconded by SMBC) and Kiyokazu Watanabe (from Nikko). The three JV heads will be jointly responsible for the development and marketing of private banking services and the growth strategy of the business.

The JV is staffed by professionals from Barclays, SMBC and Nikko across a wide range of roles in sales, marketing, investment services, product development, as well as infrastructure and operational support. Initially, the JV will concentrate on the provision of private banking services for high-net-worth individuals in Osaka, Tokyo and Yokohama, with gradual implementation in other areas.

"In SMBC, we are delighted to have a partner with the local distribution network which gives the JV unparalleled access to the Japanese high-net-worth client base," Didier von Daeniken, chief executive of Barclays Wealth in Asia-Pacific, said in a press release. "Coupled with the intellectual capital and investment expertise of Barclays Wealth and the platform excellence of Nikko, I am confident that the JV will be able to provide comprehensive advice and a broad range of investment solutions tailored to the complex needs of SMBC's high-net-worth clients."