Asia still a wealth of wealth players

July 7, 2009

A few years ago, domestic and international financial players were chomping at the bit to lure Mrs. Watanabe’s millions of yen or fellow Asians’ yuan, won or dollar holdings from their futons or equal-interest savings accounts.

The global financial crisis in the last year has sparked a rejigging of foreign institutions’ expectations about Asian wealth and their own ability to attract it, with some opting out of the game altogether.

Barclays Asia-Pacific CEO Robert Morrice isn’t letting his rivals’ woes temper enthusiasm.

He says the No.2 British bank will boost staff and its private banking arm, Barclays Wealth, expects to manage $20 billion in Asia outside of Japan by 2012, compared with $10 billion at end of this year.

“We see some very interesting opportunities in that space. We believe we’re still small and need to grow the business aggressively,” he told the Reuters Japan Investment Summit. “We need to be patient and pick our spots.”

India has been one of those, likely to hit $1 billion under management by the end of this year, while its overall staff there now number 7,000.


Photo credit: REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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