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Barclays keeps on hiring

Barclays is still hiring in Japan as it looks to keep strengthening its local presence. And it’s still sweeping up ex-Lehman employees.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, the majority of the approximately 100 people Barclays has hired since October to boost its equity research and sales business in Japan have been former Lehmanites.

Kevin Naylor, financial services division team manager at Wall Street Associates, says considering that Barclay’s has already acquired a large portion of Lehman’s operation in Japan in the form of its equities business, it makes sense to keep bringing on more ex-Lehman people.

“In times of dramatic growth, ensuring a smooth transition through cultural fit, as well as knowledge of existing systems and processes, may be more important than necessarily going after the ‘superstars’ from your competitors. Too many superstars can create excessive competition and arguments over the ‘best practices’ they bring from their firms,” adds Naylor.

With so many ex-Lehman and current Nomura employees still in the market, Naylor adds that Barclays can pick and choose from the top talent and not have to pay as much as it would to take the contented “superstars” from firms like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche and JP Morgan. “It seems to be a sensible approach to me,” he says.

Matt Anderson, manager of the banking and finance team at Legal Futures, says it seems that Barclays’ approach has resulted in a fairly smooth transition for its ex-Lehman staff. “If we cast our minds back to the chaos of the JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Jardine Fleming merger, the Barclays adoption of the Lehman staff seems to have proceeded almost flawlessly,” he says.

And Anderson adds that a lot of Barclays’ recruitment has been aimed at strengthening its infrastructure. “For the time being Barclays is making the right signals with heavy investment in infrastructure and corporate governance – legal, compliance, risk management, audit, etc – to ensure that it has the requisite back-office strength to resist the sudden front-office pressure to take on new business and increase market share.”

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