Barclays Global Investors has put two people to work drumming up subadvisory business.
The San Francisco fund unit of the British banking giant Barclays PLC has hired a Goldman Sachs Group veteran to lead the charge and a Diversified Investment Advisors vice president to help him.
Gordon Linke was a manager in the subadvisory service group in Goldman's asset management unit. He joined Barclays last month.
Shannon Murphy had already come over from Diversified in January as a relationship manager.
Dedicating employees to developing subadvisory business is new for Barclays Global Investors, but the business itself is not. The unit manages about $16 billion of assets for third parties.
"Our specialty is as a product manufacturer," said Lee Kranefuss, managing director of Barclays' individual investor group. Subadvisory relationships enable Barclays to team its indexing skills with clients' distribution and marketing expertise, he said.
One new assignment will be to subadvise five index funds for Whatifi.com, a San Francisco-based Web start-up that aims to provide low-cost financial services to 25- to 40-year-olds. The funds will be available beginning in May for a minimum investment of $100 a month.
Investment advisers from Whatifi.com will provide advice on asset allocation. Index funds yield are attractive to asset allocators because the returns are relatively predictable, Mr. Linke said.
Ms. Murphy, the newly hired relationship manager, said Barclays will probably attract more Internet clients, given its San Francisco location and Silicon Valley contacts. It already subadvises funds for E-Trade Group Inc., the Menlo Park, Calif., discount broker; and for X.com, an Internet-only bank based in Palo Alto, Calif.
"Internet companies are interested in doing business with a firm that understands the technology world," Ms. Murphy said.
But Mr. Linke said Barclays is also focusing on more traditional partners. The firm is working with other financial services companies as a subadviser on variable annuities and wrap products, for instance, he said.