Gam suspends absolute return bond boss

Gam has suspended one of its investment directors after an internal investigation relating to risk management procedures, it announced today.

The investigation concerns Tim Haywood, investment director and business unit head for the unconstrained/absolute return bond strategy (ARBS).

In an announcement, Gam said the investigation relates to some of Haywood’s risk management procedures and his record keeping in certain instances.

It said it did not, however, raise concerns regarding his honesty.

Gam also said the investigation had not established any material detriment to clients, but this was under review.

The biography page for Haywood (pictured), who is also a board director at Gam, has been removed from the firm’s website.

He joined Gam in 2009 after it acquired fixed income and foreign exchange specialist, Augustus, which he joined in 1998 from Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas International, where he was CIO.

Contingency plans

Gam said the total assets in the ARBF portfolios as at 30 June 2018 were CHF11bn (£8.5bn), with approximately CHF6.2bn of this eligible for performance fees.

In addition to these portfolios, Haywood is a named manager of CHF2.9bn in trade finance funds and the CHF653m in other fixed income portfolios.

Jack Flaherty and Alex McKnight, investment directors, have assumed joint responsibility for the ARBF and other associated portfolios, supported by 18 investment professionals.

Daniel Sheard, a co-manager of the ARBF strategy, is not involved in the day-to-day management of the ARBF portfolios but continues to manage other fixed income portfolios.

Commitment

Gam group CEO Alexander Friedman said: “We take our responsibilities and controls very seriously. Having conducted the investigation with external counsel, we now intend to follow our usual internal processes and will take any further action that may be appropriate.

Gam said it is committed to maintaining the strength of the absolute return bond team and is recruiting additional portfolio managers to meet strong client interest in this product globally.

Friedman added: “Gam is a leader in the absolute return bond category, and has been for many years. We are fully committed to remaining so. We have a strong and broad team in place, with real depth of talent and a long and successful track record. I am confident that the team will continue to deliver value for our clients.”

Group results

The announcement comes the same day Gam published its H1 2018 results that revealed group assets under management increased 3% to CHF163.8bn (£126bn) from CHF158.7bn at 31 December 2017.

However, investment management group’s AUM remained flat at CHF84.4bn as net inflows of CHF2.6bn, mainly from fixed income, were cancelled out by negative market and FX movements of the same amount.

During the half, investors withdrew net CHF800m from Gam’s absolute return strategies. Gam said the unconstrained/absolute return bond strategy attracted net inflows, but the Gam Star Global Rates fund and the Gam Absolute Return Europe Equity fund saw redemptions following a period of weaker performance.

Friedman said: “Market conditions have become more challenging, and some clients are choosing to rebalance their portfolios as we enter the later stages of this long-running bull market. As a result, we saw a significant slowdown in net inflows in the later part of the first half of 2018. The volatile and directionless market conditions are likely to continue in the second half of this year, which may affect clients’ risk appetite and our flows.

“We may also experience client redemptions as a result of today’s separate announcement of the suspension of Tim Haywood, investment director business unit head for the unconstrained/absolute return bond strategy.”

Source: Gam

 

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