BarCap appoints its first commodities head for Asia

Barclays Capital is looking to increase commodity sales in Asia after appointing Russell Norton to be its first-ever head of commodities for the region. He will be based at the bank's commodities trading hub in Singapore.

Norton joined Barclays in January 2005 as head of energy sales for Asia, focusing on risk management for companies with exposure to energy prices, such as airlines and shipping companies. In his new role, he will report regionally to head of Asian distribution Justin Bull and globally to Jonathan Taylor, global head of commodity distribution

Previously, Norton has had investment banking and risk advisory roles at Deutsche Bank and Swiss energy trading company Masefield. He has also worked for oil major BP.

Managing director Kevin Burke has also relocated from London to Singapore to take on another newly created role as head of distribution, Asia ex-Japan. Burke will start in the new capacity on April 2 and report to Bull. His responsibilities include working with sales to improve client focus across all products. Burke joined Barclays in 2004 as managing director, EU investor solutions.

Barclays released a client survey in February that indicated a growing investor interest in commodities. Of 200 pension funds, private banks and insurance companies surveyed, 93% expect to have commodities exposure in the next three years.

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