Barclays Global Investors (BGI) has merged its retail and institutional sales teams into a single unit.

According to Will Britten, previously head of BGI institutional business and now in charge of the group’s combined Australian Distribution Channel, no staff were lost as a result of the restructure. “We still have 36 people in the sales area – the same number as previously,” Britten said. “In fact we’re hiring a couple of people now – one for institutional and another in channel support.” He said following the reshuffle, Tim Bradbury, former head of BGI Adviser Services Group, has begun “working full-time on another project” within the business. While both sales teams now report to Britten he said there would still be specific retail and institutional roles. “There are different skill-sets [for retail and institutional] and we have not created generalist roles,” he said. “But we wanted to capture synergies in best practice across the group.” The new centralised services include marketing, performance and reporting, communications, and channel support. Britten said as the lines between traditional institutional and retail business blurred it was important to allocate resources appropriately. “For example, many industry funds now have financial planning arms while some retail businesses are wanting to be treated as institutions,” he said. “Our new structure means we can leverage services across the entire client base and explore other areas for growth such as the SMSF sector.” BGI currently manages about $47 billion in Australia with 85-90 per cent of that labelled as institutional money. BGI’s owner, Barclays is also in merger talks with Dutch giant ABN Amro in a deal that has been touted as the world’s biggest ever financial services takeover. Barclays offered 67 billion euro (A$111 billion) for ABN Amro and is waiting on court approval.

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