GAM boss leaves after bond funds closure

GAM boss leaves after bond funds closure

GAM chief executive Alexander Friedman is to leave the company, as the fallout from the closure of the company’s Absolute Return Bond fund range continues to resonate.

As FTAdviser previously reported, GAM suspended its fund manager Tim Haywood in August following concerns about the level of due diligence being carried out on illiquid investments held in the fund, and issues surrounding record keeping.

The company was later forced to close the range of nine funds, which at the time of the closure had assets of £7.3bn.

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The nine funds made up the Absolute Return Bond strategy and comprised the GAM Absolute Return Bond, GAM Absolute Return Bond Defender, GAM Absolute Return Bond Plus, GAM Star Absolute Return Bond, GAM Star Absolute Return Bond Defender, GAM Star Absolute Return Plus, GAM Star Dynamic Global Bond, GAM Absolute Return Bond Master Fund, GAM Unconstrained Bond Fund.

Mr Friedman has been replaced by David Jacob, a GAM director, in the interim while the search for a new CEO is underway.

GAM shares fell by 27 per cent in the aftermath of Mr Haywood’s suspension, but have risen by more than 5 per cent since the announcement of Mr Friedman’s exit was released to the market this morning (6 November).

In a statement to investors GAM said: "GAM Holding AG announces that Alexander Friedman, Group CEO and the board of directors have agreed that the next stage of the company's evolution would be best served by new leadership and that Mr Friedman will step down today.

"The board has appointed David Jacob, a member of the board of directors, as interim Group CEO and member of the group management board, whilst a search for a new CEO is conducted. Mr Jacob has extensive industry experience, having held senior leadership roles at a number of asset management businesses."

Mr Jacob is a former chief investment officer at Henderson Global Investors.