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Barclays Chairman of Global M&A Resigns, Source Says


By Cynthia Koons

HONG KONG--Just four months after relocating to the U.S. from Asia, Ed King, Barclays PLC's executive chairman for mergers and acquisitions, has resigned from the firm, a person familiar with the matter said.

His move is latest in a wave of departures from the British bank's investment banking arm.

Longtime Asia veteran Mr. King was the bank's head of mergers and acquisitions for Asia-Pacific until he relocated to the U.S. in March to take on a newly created role facilitating mergers between Asian and North American companies.

Mr. King, previously Morgan Stanley's head of M&A, joined Barclays in October 2010, as part of the U.K. bank's efforts to build out an all-round investment banking franchise in the region.

His departure follows plans by Chief Executive Antony Jenkins to scale back some of Barclays's operations in Asia as part of a wider restructuring that would see the U.K. bank cut 7,000 jobs in investment banking globally by 2016 and trim 19,000 positions across the bank's divisions globally in the next three years. A person familiar with the matter said this week Barclays was preparing to cut 100 jobs from its Asian-Pacific investment-banking and markets operations. A number of senior executives are leaving the firm including Helge Weiner-Trapness, head of the financial-institutions group for the Asian-Pacific region, and Johan Leven, head of corporate finance for the region.

Other Barclays executives in Asia have already left or signaled plans to leave. Robert Morrice, 51 years old, a 17- year Barclays veteran, said he would retire this year after 12 years of running the bank's Asian-Pacific operations. Jason Rynbeck, vice chairman of mergers and acquisitions for the Asian-Pacific region, has left as well. The bank has appointed Akihiro Kanaya and Rafael Carrillo to co-head the financial institutions group and Steve Boggiano to head a newly created group of consumer, real estate, retail and health care.

Barclays began building out an investment-banking franchise globally in the wake of the financial crisis, after buying out Lehman Brothers' operations in the U.S.

In Asia, the bank hired Matthew Ginsburg, who headed Asia investment banking at Morgan Stanley, in September 2009 to head Asia-Pacific investment banking. Mr. Ginsburg is leaving his role but remaining with the bank.

The London-based investment bank has been falling in the league tables in Asia lately, ranking 30th in terms of M&A deals advised on so far this year in the region, from ninth place in 2013, according to Dealogic data.

Barclays has scored some big deals in the past few years, having last year advised Smithfield Foods Inc. on its sale to China'sShuanghui International Holdings Ltd., now known as WH Group, which at $4.7 billion is the biggest-ever acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese one.

It also advised MBK Partners Ltd. on the Seoul-based private-equity firm's acquisition of ING Groep NV's South Korean insurance unit for $1.7 billion in August.

Write to Cynthia Koons at cynthia.koons@wsj.com

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