Alchemy plays down Moulton damage

ALCHEMY Partners is holding frantic talks with its investors to persuade them to stay on as clients at the firm, after the spectacular resignation of its managing partner Jon Moulton last week.<br /><br />The private equity firm is telling investors that Moulton, the investment guru who founded it in 1997 but slammed it in a scathing letter as he resigned on Thursday, was not making investment decisions on its funds.<br /><br />Moulton&rsquo;s hands-on investment days ended when he was at firms like Schroder Ventures and Apax, the group is telling its backers, and at Alchemy he was more of a figurehead. <br /><br />Losing him will not damage its&rsquo; funds&rsquo; ability to deliver high levels of growth, it is saying. <br /><br />Alchemy is concerned that Moulton&rsquo;s exit triggers a &ldquo;key man&rdquo; clause on its funds enabling the investors to exit their funds early.<br /><br />Moulton&rsquo;s letter last week said Alchemy is &ldquo;not what it once was&rdquo;.<br /><br />He said the firm is already suffering from a lack of investment, with the loss of several backers recently set to cut capacity from &pound;400m to &pound;100m this year. And he urged investors to terminate their dealings with the group.