June 4, 2010

Barclays Hires Merrill Veteran Steve Houston as a Wealth Management Chief

Barclays Wealth, which bought part of Lehman Brothers in 2008, now has about 250 advisors in the Americas

Barclays Wealth has named a new head of its wealth management efforts in the Americas.

Former Merrill Lynch executive Steve Houston is now responsible "for building the firm's high net worth client business as well as managing and expanding the investment representative network," the company said in a press release.

Barclays Wealth has about 250 advisors in the United States and Latin America, and a total of 1,680 FAs worldwide. Total assets under management (AUM) were about $240 billion as of December 31, 2009.

Houston reports to Mitch Cox, head of Barclays Wealth, Americas, and global research and investments for all of Barclays Wealth. (Cox is also a Merrill Lynch veteran.)

"Over more than two decades of private wealth experience, Steve has developed a deep understanding of client needs and demonstrated an outstanding ability to lead wealth businesses," said Cox in a statement.

"As part of a significant global investment in our business and platform, we are rapidly growing in the U.S. and attracting top-performing teams. With his track record, Steve is the right person to drive our regional build-out," added Cox.

Houston is replacing Jack Peterson, who is becoming an investment rep in Barclay's New York branch.

"After five years of leading our wealth management offering in the Americas, Jack has decided to return to client coverage as an investment representative," said Cox. "His decision to rebuild his IR business at Barclays Wealth speaks both to the opportunities our platform offers and the significant benefits that our $1 billion investment in the business over the next several years will bring."

Houston, a managing director, joined Barclays Wealth in 2009. From 1999 to 2009, he worked in global wealth management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has also worked for Bankers Trust Private Bank and PaineWebber.

Petersen joined Barclays Wealth in 2008 as part of the acquisition of the Lehman Brothers Private Investment Management (PIM) business. He worked at Morgan Stanley from 1993 to 2003.

In the Americas, Barclays Wealth has 14 offices.

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