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Sprott Steps Down as Chief, Replaced by Grosskopf

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July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Eric Sprott, whose gold and resource-based hedge funds soared six-fold over nine years, is stepping down as chief executive officer of Sprott Inc. and will be replaced by Peter Grosskopf on Sept. 7.

Sprott, 65, becomes chairman of the company, replacing Jack Lee, and will be chief investment officer of Sprott Asset Management, the Toronto-based firm said today in a statement. Grosskopf joins Sprott Inc.’s board and will serve as president and CEO of Sprott Resource Lending Corp.

The Toronto-based money manager’s Sprott Hedge Fund returned about 496 percent in the nine years to the end of 2009 as bets on gold stocks and oil and gas companies paid off.

Sprott founded his current money management firm after divesting Sprott Securities, now Cormark Securities Inc., to its employees. Grosskopf is president of Cormark.

Sprott Asset Management’s senior portfolio manager Peter Hodson will be stepping down from the board, the firm said. Lee will serve as Sprott Inc.’s lead director, the company said.

Sprott Inc. fell 5 cents to C$3.30 at 3:56 p.m. in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock has plunged from its initial public offering price of C$10 in 2008.

(Sprott Inc. will hold a conference call tomorrow at 9 a.m. Toronto time to discuss the changes at +1-647-427-7450 or 1-888-231-8191 or on the Internet at www.sprottinc.com.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; or Alec McCabe at amccabe@bloomberg.net

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