(Bloomberg) -- Vanguard Group Inc. plans to make its first hire in Spain as the world’s second-biggest asset manager tries to grow in the country.

The US investment giant, which mainly manages passive funds, already oversees $12 billion of assets for clients in Spain and is now in the process of hiring a sales executive to cover the region. Vanguard has had “strong interest from both prospects and existing clients in Spain” and the new role will be “dedicated to serving clients in the country,” a company spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The new recruit will initially start in one of Vanguard’s other locations in the European Union, and will then move to Spain.

Vanguard manages about $9 trillion globally and is one of the few large asset managers that still doesn’t have a sales office in Spain. Fidelity International and BlackRock Inc., for example, both have offices in Madrid. International investment managers had an estimated €276 billion of assets overall distributed in Spain as of March, according to fund association Inverco.

Despite several efforts to grow in the continent over recent years, Malvern, Pennsylvania-based Vanguard has been slow to gain market share. It now oversees $378 billion in assets in Europe and the UK, a fraction of the money the firm manages in total. Last year Vanguard shut down a personal investment platform in Germany less than two years after its debut, following a strategic review of the company’s business in that country.

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