Daniel Sheard, a co-manager on the £8.5bn absolute return bond fund (ARBF) range, lost his job as part of the group’s wider restructuring efforts, the Financial Times reported.
The redundancy was first reported by finews.com last Thursday. The Swiss publication did not identify the whistleblower by name, referring to him as “the co-manager of Gam’s unconstrained bond fund” and “the 13-year Gam veteran”, descriptions that pointed to Sheard.
A source close to the matter told finews.com that Sheard was walking away with several years’ pay and a bonus drawn from the wider bonus pool of the ARBF team.
Sheard confirmed to both publications that he was one of a number of senior portfolio managers that had been made redundant in recent months. Gam has been forced to undertake drastic restructuring efforts, including axing 10% of its workforce, in light of the reputational damage caused from Haywood’s suspension and the subsequent liquidation of one of its most popular fund ranges.
Gam told Portfolio Adviser it does not comment on individuals and could not confirm Sheard’s status at the company. Last week the Swiss manager did verify the departure of real estate financing boss, Jon Rickert, however.
It also would not confirm or deny the identity of the whistleblower.
FCA remains silent
This revelation is also embarrassing for the Financial Conduct Authority, which has been panned for its handling of other whistleblowing cases. Many people, including SCM co-founder Gina Miller, lambasted the regulator for not taking a tougher stance on Barclays boss Jes Staley who was allowed to keep his job after breaching the whistleblowing code.
The FCA declined to comment on the dismissal of the Gam whistleblower.
Sheard contacted the UK watchdog directly in March 2018, with Gam’s knowledge, months after the probe into Haywood was launched.
Haywood was ultimately suspended for conduct issues, which concerned his due diligence and record keeping “in certain instances”. The investigation also found that Haywood may have breached Gam’s signatory policy and gifts and entertainment policy, and may have used his personal email for work purposes.
At the time Gam said it would continue to provide “all appropriate protections” to Haywood’s whistle-blowing colleague with then CEO Alexander Friedman remarking that every modern financial services firm should foster a culture that encourages employees with concerns to come forward. This is “central to trusted client relationships,” he noted.
Friedman stepped down as Gam’s chief executive a month later.
Haywood, who had been suspended since last July, was finally sacked by Gam in February for “gross misconduct” as the fund group revealed assets in its investment arm had dropped by a third. The star manager has since claimed he was unfairly dismissed and is being scapegoated by Gam.