JPMorgan, Barclays on Hiring Sprees Ex-U.S.

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While financial services employment in the U.S. shrinks, global banks are expanding apace in Asia and elsewhere. JPMorgan and Barclays are the latest examples.

JPMorgan plans to add at least 700 staff to its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong over the next three years, Reuters reports. The added staff will occupy as many as 11 floors in a new office block that the bank plans to lease.

Investment banking fees in Asia rose 36 percent last year to a record $11.7 billion, according to Thomson Financial. By comparison, worldwide M&A advisory fees reportedly climbed about 10 percent, while underwriting fees for new stock and bond issues in the U.S. market dropped 1.7 percent.

JPMorgan's $417.5 million in Asia-Pacific banking fees was up 40 percent from 2006 and placed fifth among all investment banks, according to Thomson Financial data cited by Reuters. "With big stock market listings and acquisitions coming out of China, where the economy grew at about 11.5 percent last year, JP Morgan plans to go on a hiring spree," the article says. The bank's Asia-Pacific chief operating officer Roy Kinnear told Reuters he expects the head count in Hong Kong, now 3,200, to grow at a double digit annual pace for the next few years.

Separately, Investment Dealers Digest reports that Barclays' wealth management division is adding 800 new positions worldwide by mid-2008, on top of the 1,700 jobs it added over the past two years.

None of the positions are in the Americas, where Barclays Wealth has its only presence in the Cayman Islands. Instead, the new slots are in Portugal, Spain, Monaco and Switzerland, the Middle East, Africa and India, a Barclays spokesman told IDD.

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