Barclays Hires Goldman’s Koo, BNP’s Lim to Boost Asia Advisory

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s third-biggest bank, hired Vanessa Koo from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and James Lim from BNP Paribas SA as part of plans to bolster its investment-banking unit in Asia.

Koo will focus on mergers and acquisitions in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while Lim will head real estate for Asia-Pacific, the company said in an e-mailed press release today. Both will be managing directors, the London-based bank said.

Barclays is luring executives from rival firms to compete with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for work managing stock sales and advising on takeovers in a region that’s home to the world’s two fastest-growing economies.

Koo was most recently ran New York-based Goldman Sachs’s China mergers advisory business. Lim was head of real estate for Asia-Pacific at BNP Paribas’s investment banking unit before resigning in March after 17 months with the company.

Recent Barclays hires include Wu Sheng, a managing director at Citigroup Inc.’s China investment banking team, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. In March, the company appointed former Goldman Sachs banker Johan Leven as co-head of corporate finance for Asia-Pacific.

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