Are politics hampering BarCap's equity aspirations?

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Rumour has it that BarCap has made at least one big equities hire: William Tovey, the former head of sales at UBS. UBS confirms that Tovey left last Friday, but BarCap has not confirmed his appointment.

BarCap hired sixty people hired from Lehman last year and announced its intention to expand into cash equities in December. But with the apparent exception of Tovey, there haven't been any big hiring announcements in January.

While it's quite possible that Barclays has been hiring without publicising it's achievements, headhunters say there's a simple thing contributing to the delay: spurred by the ex-Lehman equities franchise in the US, BarCap's European equities business wants to pick up the ex-Lehman equities bankers who are now at Nomura. And because of Nomura's generous guaranteed bonuses they have not been free to do so until recently.

There are also rumours of tension between Dixit Joshi, head of the equity business in Europe and Asia at BarCap, and the bank's global head of equities Gerald Donini. Before BarCap acquired Lehman's US business, Joshi was global head of equity derivatives at BarCap. Donini was formerly global head of equities at Lehman.

"My understanding is that Dixit would like to hire cash equities people from across the market. Donini and Co. would like to hire ex-Lehman people from Nomura once their packages have expired," says one headhunter. "The US ex-Lehman bankers are in a strong position because they've made money for the bank in the first quarter," he adds.

A spokesman for Barclays Capital said: "These stories are complete rubbish. We are well on track with our hiring process. We are out there hiring the best people for the benefit of our clients from all firms across the street."