UPDATE 1-Barclays names Jones, Nakai as co-CEOs for Asia Pacific

Fri May 2, 2014 12:19am EDT

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(Adds context of Barlcays' Asia expansion, details on appointments)

HONG KONG May 2 (Reuters) - Barclays PLC has named Andrew Jones and Eiji Nakai as co-chief executive officers for Asia Pacific, replacing the retiring Robert Morrice who oversaw the British bank's expansion in the region following the 2008 financial crisis.

Jones and Nakai's appointments are pending regulatory approval, the UK-based bank said in a statement on Friday. The appointments will be effective from July 1, a spokesman for the bank said.

Morrice, 51, oversaw Barclays' Asia business for the last 12 years. The bank hired an A-list of veteran Asia investment bankers after the 2008 financial crisis, with the hope of forming a banking and equities business that would put them in the same league as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley .

While that expansion initially struggled with delays in the roll-out of the equity platform and high costs, last year a strong performance from the equities division suggested some of that investment was paying off.

"While the 'naysayers' don't get it, it appears that Barclays' Asian equity business is here to stay," said Russell Kopp, managing director at executive search firm Correlate Asia in an email earlier this month.

Jones, currently the region's chief operating officer, joined the bank in 2000 and has worked in Hong Kong and Singapore in fixed income and corporate finance roles.

Nakai has been Barclays' Japan chief executive since 2004, and will continue in that role.

Barclays' hiring in 2009 of over 100 former Lehman Brothers equity sales and research staff, as well as 10 former investment bankers from the failed U.S. firm, turned into a bright spot in Asia for the British bank as trading in the country boomed in the last two years.

A Barclays spokesman said the bank had no information on what would happen to the role of chairman for Asia-Pacific that the retiring Morrice held, in addition to his duties as CEO for the region.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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