Barclays is eyeing an asset management joint venture (JV) in China as part of its strategy to expand its presence in the world’s second-largest economy, reported Reuters citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The British bank is currently on the lookout for a Chinese banking partner for the JV.
Barclays, which is expected to own the majority holding in the JV, plans to set up the venture via Barclays Investment Managers (BIM) unit, according to the sources.
BIM currently has operations in Europe and Japan.
The bank recently appointed Cherry Zhu in Shanghai to build out BIM’s business in China, another person divulged to the news agency.
Zhu joined the bank from Northern Trust Asset Management where she worked as a sales director, based in Singapore.
Barclays told Reuters that it has been expanding its China presence but did not answer specifically to the news agency’s query about its plan for a China asset management JV.
The bank has been gradually expanding its presence in the Asian region, which it exited following a strategic restructure about six years ago.
The pulled out from the region after it pulled the plugs on its cash equities business and sold its Singapore and Hong Kong wealth management units.
A spokesperson for Barclays said in a statement: “The bank has been strengthening our cross-border corporate and investment bank platform in China, growing in a phased and measured approach.”
China allowed foreign financial firms to establish majority-owned asset management JVs in partnership with wealth units of the regional banks in 2019.
Since then, a number of global financial companies have entered or are seeking to enter into China’s $4.3 trillion asset management space.