Gartmore Group Ltd. fell in London trading after the U.K. money manager said that Guillaume Rambourg, who helped manage more than a third of the firm’s assets, had quit.
Gartmore dropped as much as 9.2 percent and closed down 5.5 percent at 104 pence in London trading today, giving the company a market value of 320 million pounds ($492 million). Gartmore first sold shares at 220 pence in December 2009.
Rambourg said he is leaving the firm to focus on the investigation by the Financial Services Authority into his conduct following an earlier suspension by the money manager, the London-based company said in a statement yesterday. Gartmore spokesman Ed Orlebar declined to expand upon the statement when contacted by Bloomberg News today. Christopher Hamilton, spokesman at the FSA, declined to comment.
“Guillaume was a key player with a good track record, so it wouldn’t be wrong to say that his exit will have some impact,” said David Buik, markets analyst at BGC Partners in London. The market will want to see what contingency plans the company has in mind after Rambourg’s exit, Buik said.
Gartmore shares fell 31 percent on March 30 after the firm said it was investigating Rambourg for breaking internal rules by directing orders to buy or sell stock from favored brokers. Rambourg returned to work at Gartmore as an investment analyst in April.
Rambourg joined Gartmore in 1995 and focused on European equities. Before his suspension he co-managed the firm’s
$2.3 billion Alphagen Capella fund with Roger Guy since it started in 2000.
The firm has been hiring fund managers to reduce its reliance on Guy and Rambourg. In June, Gartmore added John Bennett, a 16-year veteran of GAM Holding Ltd. in London, to lead a team managing European equity mutual fund assets. It also hired Darrell O’Dea, a former Threadneedle Asset Management executive, to work with Guy on his funds.