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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Barclays targets the super-rich
Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham
Footballers and their successful wives are in the sights of Barclays
Popstars and footballers are among the growing number of millionaires being targeted by UK bank Barclays.

Barclays said it plans to spend 375m over the next three years on boosting staff and upgrading computer systems at its wealth management division.

In the past, other banks, such as UBS and Coutts, have been seen as being the more specialised in dealing with "high-net worth individuals".

Potential

Among those already on the staff at Barclay's is former head of private banking at Coutts, Paul Richardson.

He is director with responsibility for Sport, Media and Entertainment - the department at Barclays looking to attract high-earning celebrities.

And with top footballers commanding salaries of close to 100,000 a week, there is plenty of potential for investors.

Barclays Stockbrokers and other divisions aimed at the wealthy are also now being dealt with by its wealth management arm - which currently manages $84bn of assets.

At the start of 2006, a report by Merrill Lynch and CapGemini found that there were more than 1.9 million people in the UK with at least 100,000 to invest, and 560,000 people who had more than 500,000 in unassigned assets.

In the first half of 2006 Barclays made group profits of 3.67bn - up 37%.


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