Bull Bear Report Jul 11 2011

Barclays Wealth Continues Expansion with Olsen Hire

By julie steinberg

Hans Olsen has joined Barclays Wealth as managing director and head of Americas investment strategy, a newly-created position, the wealth management firm said today.

Olsen, 48, will focus on developing investment strategies for high net worth clients in the Americas. He will be based in New York and will report to Aaron Gurwitz, the Barclays Wealth chief investment officer.

His hiring reflects an expansion of Barclays Wealth, which, as FINS reported in January, plans to hire between 450 and 650 wealth management-related positions in its offices in the U.S. and Buenos Aires by 2014. The expectation is to add between 70 and 120 investment representatives each year.

The unit wouldn't comment on how much more hiring will take place this year, but there are approximately 1,550 investment representatives globally and currently 250 in the Americas.

"We are less concerned with the absolute number," said Mitch Cox, head of Barclays Wealth, Americas. "Instead our concern is quality and productivity. While our sweet spot remains 400-600 investments representatives, we don't evaluate success on the number of heads, but on the quality of the [investment representatives]."

Olsen joins Barclays Wealth from JPMorgan, where he was chief investment officer for private wealth management since 2007. Prior to JPMorgan, he served as chief investment officer at Bingham Legg Advisors, a Boston-based wealth manager. He also founded a private asset management company that managed portfolios for individuals and small institutions.

"Hans' strong investment expertise across publicly traded and private asset classes is an excellent complement to the team's economic and behavioral finance strengths," Gurwitz said in a statement.

Olsen is a CFA charterholder and graduated from Bates College. He completed an executive education program on investment decisions and behavioral finance at Harvard.

Write to Julie Steinberg

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