Barclays Wealth has appointed Steve Houston as new head of wealth management for Americas. He assumes the position from Jack Petersen, who will become an investment representative in the Barclays Wealth New York office.

Mr Houston will be responsible regionally for building the firm’s high net worth client business as well as managing and expanding the investment representative network.

He will report directly to Mitch Cox, head of Barclays Wealth for Americas, and head of global research and investments for all of Barclays Wealth.

Mr Houston, a managing director, joined Barclays Wealth in 2009 as global head of relationship management and distribution. From 1999 to 2009, he worked in Global Wealth Management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in several senior roles including sales and product development leadership positions.

From 1993 to 1999, Mr Houston worked at the Bankers Trust Private Bank in similar roles. He began his career at PaineWebber in the late 1980s.

Mr Petersen, a managing director, joined Barclays Wealth in 2008 as part of the acquisition of the Lehman Brothers Private Investment Management (PIM) business. He joined the Lehman PIM business in 2003 as an investment representative and became head of national sales in 2005 and global head of sales in 2007. Prior to that, he worked at Morgan Stanley from 1993 to 2003.

Mr Cox said: "Over more than two decades of private wealth experience, Steve has developed a deep understanding of client needs and demonstrated an outstanding ability to lead wealth businesses. With his track record, Steve is the right person to drive our regional build-out.

"After five years of leading our wealth management offering in the Americas, Jack has decided to return to client coverage as an investment representative. We thank him for his strong business leadership during a very challenging period in the industry.”