Chang, Kotecha to co-head Barclays Asia equities

Vikesh Kotecha and John Chang will head the UK bank's Asia-Pacific equities business in a newly split role, replacing Nick Wright, who retired in March.

Barclays has appointed Vikesh Kotecha and John Chang to head its Asia-Pacific equities business in a newly split role amid a turbulent time for the UK bank and ahead of a wave of further staff changes.

They replace Nick Wright, who retired in March as the bank’s head of equities for Asia-Pacific, with their move effective last week, a Barclays spokesman told FinanceAsia on Tuesday.

Kotecha, 38, continues in his previous role as head of equities trading but now also co-leads the entire regional equities business. He oversees risk management and financial resource management in the region, based in Hong Kong, and reports to Conor Brown, head of markets, Asia-Pacific.

Chang, 46, has been named head of equities distribution Asia-Pacific and will move in the summer to Hong Kong from Seoul, where he was Barclays' Korea country manager. He reports to Mike di Iorio, head of equities distribution, who is based in London.

There will be more appointments in the next few weeks and months within the equities business, a Barclays spokesman told FinanceAsia.

Barclays only started its cash equities business in Asia-Pacific in 2010 (in Japan), expanding to Asia ex-Japan the following year. In 2013 the business had a record year in terms of revenue albeit at a low level relative to its peers.

The replacements

Kotecha joined Barclays in 2010 from Nomura and has held various senior roles within equities trading.

At Nomura he was head of flow trading, responsible for managing index and single stocks flow trades, and risk, in the equity derivatives business. Kotecha also spent five years at Lehman Brothers and has worked at Credit Lyonnais.

Chang joined Barclays in 2011 as head of equities in South Korea, and his most recent role was country head for Korea, which he assumed in 2013.

He joined Barclays from Deutsche Securities Korea, where he spent 11 years and was most recently head of equities Korea, responsible for cash trading, equity derivatives and managing the Korea business. Prior to that, he was head of sales trading at SG Securities and HSBC Securities in Korea.

Wright retired in March after joining the bank in October 2011 as head of global markets for Japan, before moving to Hong Kong in March 2013 to become head of equities Asia-Pacific.


The appointments come at a tumultuous time for the UK bank.

Last week Barclays confirmed it would cut 7,000 investment banking jobs by 2016 and create a bad bank of unwanted assets, including non-core commodities.

Following a strategic review, the UK bank said it would cut a total of 19,000 jobs over the next three years and dramatically slim down in an effort to improve results.

Barclays announced a 41% fall in revenues at its core fixed income trading business. On top of this, Barclays has lost some key executives over the past few weeks.

Robert Morrice, chairman and chief executive of Barclays Asia-Pacific, announced his retirement at the end of last week, after 17 years at the bank, 12 of which he spent as regional CEO.

Under Morrice, 51, Barclays built up its investment banking and cash equities business in Asia, part of a global expansion following the purchase of Lehman Brothers’ US assets.

Morrice will leave the bank at the end of June and be replaced by Andrew Jones and Eiji Nakai, who will become co-CEOs on July 1, subject to regulatory approval. The bank has not made a decision yet on the role of chairman, a spokesman for Barclays told FinanceAsia.

Hugh “Skip” McGee left his position as head of Barclays Americas last month. Ros Stephenson also quit as global chairman of investment banking to join UBS.  

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