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Barclays' Asian hiring strategy: exploit competitors' fear

Frank Herbert might have said that fear was “the mind-killer,” but Barclays can do him one better – they can integrate that philosophy into their Asian business plans.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Barclay’s APAC head of markets Hossein Zaimi said the bank is “investing when people are scared.” The slew of people it's been adding is an indicator that there is little hyperbole involved.

It’s all part of Barclay’s grand rebuild in Asia, which began around 2021. The bank heavily cut back its Asian presence back in 2016, letting go of some 1,000 people in the investment bank alone. Its investment banking presence in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand were all shut down.

Barclays has been hiring in the region for the past few years. In 2022, it added Zaimi (from HSBC) and three traders from Credit Suisse - Dan Brand, Brandon Porter and Ilya Feldman - even before Credit Suisse went under. Bloomberg says overall APAC sales and trading headcount at the bank rose nearly 20% between 2019 and late December 2022. The Taiwan and Australia offices were also reopened.

Another five traders were hired into the bank in Singapore recently. Competitors are fearful; Barclays is not. 

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AUTHORZeno Toulon Reporter

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