Barclays/Absa integration gathers pace

The bedding down of the Absa/Barclays merger is continuing with yesterday’s announcement that Absa is reorganising its wealth asset management, stockbroking and investment administration operations to be housed under a single pan African division.

A statement released by the group yesterday said the integrated division will be called Wealth and Investment Management. Observers found it interesting that the group in its announcement did not prefix the title of the business with a trading brand, Absa or Barclays. Word is the prefix is most likely to become Barclays. If true this prefix will confirm theories which say that the Absa brand is being pulled back and the Barclays brand is slowly taking over.
Early this year the title Absa Group, which refers to the holding company listed on the JSE was killed and replaced by Barclays Africa Group. This is after Barclays injected its other African operations into Absa Holdings and increased its Absa Holding stake to more than 60 percent. The group did say that the Absa brand will be maintained at trading level. Yesterday’s announcement will be seen as a further pull back of the Absa brand even though the most powerful representation of the brand, being the retail bank operation, remains intact.
Yesterday’s announcement said the new Wealth and Investment Management business will have R225 billion in assets under management and is positioned to help the Group’s retail and institutional clients prosper.
Nomkhita Nqweni is positioned as Chief Executive of the Wealth and Investment Management business. Nqweni said  “This important development forms part of Barclays Wealth’s global strategy, aimed at bringing our capabilities together in a more coordinated manner by creating a centre of investment excellence within the Group. The integration of these areas of expertise will enhance our service delivery and offerings by providing holistic solutions and tailored advice to suit the financial requirements of our clients.”
“By building the best of our Wealth and Investment Management businesses on top of the global Barclays Group’s platforms, this is an important milestone in our journey to delivering a powerful pan-African franchise for the benefit of our clients in our quest to become Africa’s ‘Go-To’ bank. Being part of the Wealth, Investment Management and Insurance cluster enables us to take advantage of our major strength, our distribution channels. We are confident that the enhanced efficiencies and platforms will enrich the overall experience for our clients,” said Nqweni.
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