Barclays Global Investors (BGI), opens its first European office in Amsterdam this month.

The group, which manages around $22bn in assets for Dutch clients has made the move to provide a closer base for handling the investment enquiries of its 28 clients in Belgium and Holland.

Hilary Smith, managing director of BGI Amsterdam, will head a team of four at the new office.

Although the investment assets will continue to be managed from the company's offices in London and San Francisco, Smith says the Dutch team will look after the daily organisation" of client in-vestment strategies and queries.

"The Dutch market is mirroring closely the US development of index management into quantitive and tactical allocation strategies." The Amsterdam office will also allow BGI to develop this market in which there are no domestic providers, she says.

Smith says BGI has long term plans to move into the rest of Europe, where the group has significant client accounts in Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland."