Fund manager Philip Rodrigs has been sacked by River and Mercantile for professional misconduct.
A well-known figure in fund management, Jason Hollands, managing director of communications Tilney, said Mr Rodrigs was a “rising star of the industry”, but that being dismissed for professional misconduct may be “career ending”.
Mr Rodrigs made his name as a UK smaller companies fund manager at Investec, before joining River and Mercantile in 2014.
He ran the £900m River and Mercantile UK Smaller Companies fund, the £374m River and Mercantile Dynamic Equity fund, and the £100m River and Mercantile UK Micro Cap investment trust.
The Micro Cap trust is the absolute top performer in the AIC UK Smaller Companies sector over the past year, while the Dynamic Equity fund is among the top 25 per cent of performers in the IA UK All Companies sector since Mr Rodrigs took charge in 2014.
The company confirmed that his dismissal from the business is not related to his activities on any fund, and that no client has suffered any loss as a result of the actions for which Mr Rodrigs has been dismissed.
Mr Rodrigs will be replaced by Dan Hanbury on the UK Smaller Companies fund.
Mr Hanbury runs the River and Mercantile UK Equity Income fund, and also previously worked at Investec, before joining River and Mercantile in 2006.
He also began his career managing smaller company shares at Investec, where Mr Rodrigs was part of his team as an analyst, before the latter was promoted to fund manager when Mr Hanbury left Investec to join River and Mercantile.
William Lough will replace Mr Rodrigs as manager of the UK Dynamic Equity fund. Mr Lough worked with Hugh Sargent on the River and Mercantile UK Long Term Recovery fund.
Management of the MicroCap Trust will be taken on by George Ensor, who was previously an analyst on the fund. Mr Ensor was previously employed by Smith and Williamson.