UK – Barclays Global Investors’ assets under management at the end of last year rose 19% - or £111bn (€161.5bn) – to £709bn, from £598bn at the end of 2003.

The growth included net new assets of £65bn, the firm said. Market movements accounted for a rise of £97bn, which was offset by £51bn in exchange rate movements.

Profit before tax excluding goodwill at the unit, part of Barclays Plc, rose 82% in 2004 to £347m from £191m.

Approximately 55% of income is generated in the US and 31% in the UK and continental Europe. It said that securities lending income growth was also “very strong, benefiting from increased volumes”.

Assets under management at its iShares exchange-traded funds business rose 88% to $130bn.

Barclays group chairman Matthew Barrett called BGI’s performance “sparkling”. He said it “singles us out as a harbour of dependability in a very turbulent sea”. The bank reported that total profit for 2004 rose 20% to £4.6bn.

Elsewhere, Schroders has hired two executives in the UK. Andrew Benton becomes head of UK business development while Richard Graham, will be head of UK consultant relationships. They join from RCM and HSBC Asset Management respectively.

And AXA Investment Managers has named a new chief operating officer in the UK. Daniel Mouen Makoua will report to Paul Griffiths, chief executive of AXA IM in the UK.

Mouen Makoua takes over the role from Steve Wisson, the global head of operations, who will focus on AXA’s outsourcing deal with State Street.

In the US, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers has hired Putnam Investments’ Frank Porcelli.

MLIM said he would join the firm as chief operating officer for the Americas. He will report to Bob Doll, president and chief investment officer.

He was previously managing director of institutional sales and consultant relations at Putnam.