Gartmore in bid to limit probe fall-out

Steve Dinneen
Follow Steve
EMBATTLED fund manager Gartmore yesterday embarked on a charm offensive in a bid to calm investors worried about allegations levelled against its star trader.

Gartmore is desperate to arrest the decline in its share price and ensure its clients do not switch their funds to another firm. It met with investors yesterday to try to limit the fallout from Tuesday’s revelations that Guillaume Rambourg had been suspended for “directing shares”.

Investors on the list included Hellman & Friedman, which owns a 24 per cent stake in Gartmore, and Henderson Global Investors, which owns 11 per cent.

Gartmore’s shares bottomed out at just 97p yesterday morning before recovering to 125p as some traders decided the market’s judgement of the firm had been too bearish. The price is still well below the 210p it floated at in December.

However, it now faces rumours that a takeover bid may be launched while its share price is low. Asset managers Man Group and Jupiter have been linked to a possible bid.

There was also speculation yesterday that the firm’s share price could be rocked again if high-flying fund manager Roger Guy, a close friend of Rambourg, decides to quit the firm after voicing his discontent yesterday over the “excessive” nature of the firm’s internal controls.

A spokesman for the firm said Rambourg’s suspension was not linked to the FSA investigation and denied any of its other managers are implicated in the unauthorised trading.