Threadneedle’s Allen Sues Carnelian to Be Removed as Director

Jonathan Allen, Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd.’s head of hedge fund sales in Asia, sued his former company Carnelian Capital Pte in Singapore to be removed as a director, saying it has strained ties with his employer.

Allen, 41, said he submitted his resignation letter in March 2009 and is “very shocked” that he’s still listed as a director at Carnelian, according to his lawsuit filed with the Singapore High Court. A closed hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Allen, who was hired by India’s Zoom Developers Ltd. to head Carnelian in 2008, said in the lawsuit he’s “severely affected” by being a director at the Singapore-based firm, which has “significant” debts and may be liquidated. He joined Threadneedle, which managed 68.8 billion pounds ($109 billion) as of the end of June, as its Singapore-based deputy head of Asian distribution in January 2010.

“It has caused a severe strain in my relationship with my employer which has the potential of jeopardizing my employment and my future in the asset management industry, due to no fault of mine,” Allen said in his court filing.

Carnelian, which doesn’t have a publicly listed phone number or e-mail address, hasn’t filed its response to the lawsuit. Allen declined to comment when reached today by phone.

Allen can’t become the chief executive officer of a Threadneedle Singapore unit, which is applying for a capital markets license, because he is named as a director at Carnelian, according to court filings.

Asia ‘Growth Drive’

Carnelian, which didn’t have the “basic operating funds” to be run as an alternative fund management firm, also “consistently failed” to pay Allen’s salary on time, according to the lawsuit.

Threadneedle, the London-based unit of Ameriprise Financial Inc., hired June Wong from AllianceBernstein as CEO of its Hong Kong office in July as part of a “substantial growth drive” in Asia. In April, Threadneedle appointed Junji Okabayashi, former CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Merrill Lynch PB Securities, as a senior adviser based in Singapore.

The case is Jonathan Alexander Gordon Allen v Carnelian Capital Pte & Anor, OS501/2011 in the Singapore High Court.