Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of Barclays Bank, confirmed yesterday that it has hired long-term Lehman Brothers and Nomura veteran Sigurbjörn "Siggi" Thorkelsson as head of equities for Asia-Pacific, as the firm continues to build its equities platform.
In terms of titles, the role isn't new, but in the past Barclays' equities business has focused primarily on derivatives and equity-linked instruments. The build-out of a traditional equities business in Asia began after Barclays bought Lehman Brothers' US operations in the fourth quarter of 2008, which included an equities platform that formed the backbone of the firm's global efforts in this asset class. Thorkelsson will be the first to lead an equities business in Asia that includes origination, cash equities sales and trading, and research.
Nicholas Moreira, who has been head of equities for Asia-Pacific until now, will become part of Thorkelsson's team. According to a press release, a key focus for Thorkelsson in his new job, which includes overseeing the firm's equities business in Japan, will be to develop a full service equities franchise and to deliver world-class solutions for clients.
In a written comment, the firm's New York-based head of global equities, Gerald Donini, noted Thorkelsson's "proven expertise in growing integrated equities businesses", and said this, together with his strong client relationships, makes him "the ideal candidate to drive this important part of our global equities business".
Thorkelsson's move to Barclays was reported by at least one financial publication quoting sources in early March, in connection with his resignation from Nomura. Thorkelsson, who is a native of Iceland, had been with Nomura as head of equities for Asia-Pacific since the Japanese firm bought Lehman's operations in Asia and Europe in October 2008. Before that he spent 13 years with Lehman Brothers, where his last role was also head of equities for Asia-Pacific. He also led the development of the US firm's derivatives business in both the US and Europe.
In early March he was one of several senior bankers to leave Nomura after the final instalment of the two-year guaranteed bonus was paid out. Others who chose to depart were: Geoffrey Feldkamp, head of equity capital markets for Asia Pacific ex-Japan; Jane Wong, vice-chairman of China investment banking; Colin Banfield, joint head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan; and Thomas Siegmund, co-head of fixed-income in the region.
Thorkelsson, who joins Barclays as a managing director, will also be a member of the firm's equities executive committee and the Asia-Pacific executive committee. He will report to Donini.
Barclays has also filled two other senior positions in its growing equities franchise, hiring Mark Sandeford as managing director and head of cash equities trading for non-Japan Asia, including Australia, and Jeremy Norris as managing director and head of sales trading for non-Japan Asia.
Sandeford joins from CQS, a European hedge fund based in London, which he joined in February 2009. Prior to that he worked at Credit Suisse, where he was most recently (April 2007 to January 2009) head of non-Japan Asia sales and trading based in London. Between August 2003 and April 2007 he worked with the Swiss firm in Hong Kong as head of trading for non-Japan Asia. He will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Thorkelsson.
Norris joins from CLSA where he was global head of equities trading. He will be based in Hong Kong and will report to David Campbell, head of North Asia distribution.
Other recent hires as part of Barclays' equities build-out include: Steven O'Sullivan, who joined in February as head of equities research for non-Japan Asia; and Anthony Davies, who came on board in January as head of Asia generalist sales. In November last year, Simon Haynes-Oliver joined as head of convertibles sales for Asia.