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Five Questions for a Top Recruiting Executive

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How many wirehouse advisors would Barclays Wealth like to attract as part of its overall goal of growing from about 250 investment representatives (or advisors) to about 500 over the next few years?

We have no stated target for the number of wirehouse representatives we have to attract.

We have seen a big uptick in recent years, though, as our scale and commitment to the business have grown and, given what’s going on at the wirehouses, we could have great success in this channel going forward.

What’s the breakdown of your recruited advisors by channel?
Historically, it’s been about 70 percent from other high-net-worth boutiques, including private banks and investment boutiques, and 30 percent from the wirehouses.

That (latter) number is growing for a variety of reasons, such as our introduction of a broader investment, credit and services platform and its appeal.

Can you describe the typical wirehouse broker that you are recruiting?

There are two types.

One is focused on growing with us as a high-net-worth investment representative. This includes those who are newer to the business, such as those with less than 7-10 years in it.

The second group is for those who are more established in the business and want to leverage their investment resources with the global scale of Barclays and its unique focus on the high-net-worth segment of the marketplace to help boost their business with existing and new clients.

How are you able to attract wirehouse reps to Barclays Wealth?

First and foremost, it’s our resources. We have investment procedures and due diligence for the money markets and a closeness to the capital markets as an organization. We have asset-allocation advice and a strong product/investment platform.

This means there’s just a tighter feel that we can offer when it comes to adding value to clients compared to what rivals can offer.

Those who spend time with us are impressed —they say it’s an unbelievable platform to be a part of.

Also, we let those at the wirehouses know that they won’t have to fight with thousands of other advisors to get the resources and attention they need to help themselves —and they won’t have to fight over clients.

The asset-allocation platform, for instance, is one of only a handful that publishes its results —including the tactical asset-allocation advice, which has six years of a published track record.

And we have a more focused approach when it comes to the asset managers we use and due diligence throughout the entire organization. In addition, we keep track records of the investment managers that outperform their benchmarks, and a high percentage of them do.

What else can you share with us about your recruiting targets and activities?

We recruited about 50 investment representatives in 2009 … and this year, we’ve done very well. We are on track to meet our goal of 50-100 this year.

Another goal we have is to go from being in the global top 10 wealth-management firms to being in the top five. Our investment is focused on infrastructure, namely very advanced desktop tools to enhance the client and advisor experience.

We have $1 billion in additional funding to spend in three years, and it will be front-loaded for our global wealth-management efforts.


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