Magazine article American Banker

Barclays Bolstering New York Work Force in Fixed-Income Push

Magazine article American Banker

Barclays Bolstering New York Work Force in Fixed-Income Push

Article excerpt

Many Wall Street firms are axing staff by the thousands, but Barclays Capital plans to hire for its New York office and build its fixed-income business there.

Already it has settled into new office space in midtown Manhattan. Many of the desks on its trading floor, which can fit up to 600 people, are still vacant. The London-based unit of Barclays Bank PLC would not say exactly how many people it plans to hire.

It has 1,400 employees in North America and says it began planning for the expansion a number of years ago, before the market soured on investment banking. However, the current market dislocation has accelerated the expansion.

The company has been hiring people away from its key competitors, including Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co., and Deutsche Bank AG, all three of which have scaled back because sluggish revenues from stock and bond underwriting and merger advisory services are cutting into profits.

Peter N. Goettler, a managing director and the head of U.S. debt capital markets and investment banking at Barclays Capital, said it intends to expand in broad parts of the fixed-income business, including sales and trading, foreign exchange, commodities, and underwriting.

By maintaining a strict focus on debt finance and risk management, Barclays Capital has managed to escape much of the pain inflicted on the investment banking firms that underwrite and trade equities and arrange mergers and acquisitions. "Our business model is a much better fit for the market that we've been living through in the past couple years," Mr. Goettler said.

The planned expansion would reverse a two-year trend of foreign banks exiting the U.S. investment banking market because they could not gain market share. Deutsche Bank, through its acquisition of Bankers Trust Corp. in 1999, tried to elbow into the then-lucrative business of underwriting technology stocks, but that market dried up when the Nasdaq bubble burst. …

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