Sir David Wright will take over the position as vice chairman at Barclays Capital with effect from January 1, 2003. The position is currently held by Sir Leonard Appleyard, who will step down for retirement.

"Sir Leonard has been a trusted and valued member of the senior management team. His guidance has been instrumental in building our business in Asia Pacific. I thank him personally for his input, energy and drive," says Bob Diamond, chief executive of Barclays Capital.

Sir David will be responsible for strengthening the relationships and developing business opportunities in the UK and Asia Pacific region. He will be based in London and will report to Grant Kvalheim, global head of investment banking and credit products, and Robert Morrice, Asia Pacific Chairman and chief executive. Sir David is a well-known and experienced diplomat in Asia. He has been in the diplomatic service since 1966 and is currently the chief executive of British Trade International in the UK. He was the British Ambassador in Korea and Japan in 1990 and 1996 respectively and can speak both languages well.

"Sir David brings a wealth of international business experience to the bank, including 16 years in all in Japan and Korea," comments Robert Morrice. "His reputation and business acumen will be a tremendous asset to us as we continue to build our Asia Pacific presence."