Barclays Wealth, the wealth management division of Barclays, has appointed Nitin Birla as Head of Hong Kong desk, South Asia, in a move to tap into the burgeoning potential of the South Asian high net worth community in North Asia. He will report to Sandeep Sharma, Head of South Asia, who is based in Singapore. This news comes in the backdrop of announcement by the British bank to start its private banking business in the country by year-end. Barclays has already built up a team of 57 people, who are based out of Mumbai. This will be expanded to a 100 people and Barclays will set up offices in Chennai, Kolakata, Banglore and New Delhi.
Barclays started a corporate banking division in India in 2006, and launched consumer banking services last year. It is increasing its focus on the growing market of India rather than developed markets of Portugal and Spain. Barclays is considering selling at least 50% of its stake in its insurance businesses in Spain and Portugal. The firm plans to expand its both wholesale and retail operations in the country.
Before joining Barclays, Birla was Executive Vice President at RBS Coutts in Hong Kong, where he instituted its private banking business and implemented the strategy to acquire HNI clients for South Asia. Birla has also worked with Citibank in India, and BNP Paribas in Hong Kong.
"Asia Pacific is an important growth region for our private banking business. We are now just one of the few private banks to have coverage of the South Asian high net worth segment based out of Hong Kong, complementing a well-established Hong Kong-based team currently serving the North Asian markets," said Didier von Daeniken, Chief Executive of Barclays Wealth Asia Pacific.