Barclays Capital, the investment banking arm of Barclays Bank PLC of London, has snared a leveraged-loan team from Citigroup Inc.

The investment bank said Monday that it hired Hans L. Christensen to head Barclays' newly formed U.S. leveraged loan investment management business. Mr. Christensen came to Barclays from the alternative investment strategies unit at Citi.

Portfolio managers Martin Davey and Michael Regan, and analyst Maria Cruz, who worked with Mr. Christensen at Citi, have also joined and will work together as part of a five-member team.

An additional person will join the group shortly, Mr. Christensen said, but he would not say when - or whether that person would also come from Citi.

The team is responsible for building the investment bank's U.S. leveraged loan business and providing investment management services to institutional clients, the company said. The team specializes in investing in bank loans and high-yield bonds.

While the effort might seem ill-timed given the challenges facing the high-yield, collateralized debt obligation and leveraged loan markets, Mr. Christensen said it would target investors who could use its expertise to help them through troubled times.

Though this type of asset management is a new business line for Barclays' American unit, a Barclays team in Europe makes similar investments.

Barclays Capital is looking to become a specialist in fixed-income activities, and this group will help broaden the fixed-income presence here, Mr. Christensen said in an interview. "It is a natural type of addition to the business," he said.

At Citigroup Mr. Christensen was responsible for managing third-party investors' leveraged loans and high-yield portfolios, including loan funds, cash flow and market value CDOs, and a structured hybrid vehicle. He had been at Citibank since 1993.

Mr. Christensen, who is based in New York, reports to Elliot Asarnow, the global head of research and credit portfolio, the company said.

Hiring Mr. Christensen and his associates is separate from the company's two-year expansion plan for investment banking operations first announced in March. Robert Griffin, head of Barclays' investment banking operations in the Americas, said that Barclays planned to hire about 50 senior investment bankers by the end of 2002. So far it has hired about 20 senior bankers, spokesman Tim Johnson said.

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