Gartmore hit by row over trust

AILING fund manager Gartmore suffered another blow yesterday as the independent board of one of its most high-profile investment trusts threatened to cut ties with the company.
The Gartmore Growth?Opportunities trust served 12-month notice on Gartmore following the shock resignation of star fund manager Gervais Williams. Williams, who quit last week after 17 years at the investment house, is said to have been unhappy about the way the group was being run for some time.
Investors in the Growth Opportunities trust are understood to be “livid” at Gartmore for letting Gervais go. The trust is considering handing its mandate to a rival fund management outfit.
Potential candidates include BlackRock, Henderson and Jupiter, all of whom have thriving investment trust departments.

Other options being mulled by the board are to re-engage Williams when he surfaces at another asset manager or to liquidate the trust. Because the next quarterly opportunity for investors to jettison shares falls in mid-October, the clock is ticking.

The board will meet with Gartmore’s replacement for Williams, Adam McConkey, this week. But a source told City A.M.: “Shareholders are absolutely livid and they’re not going to be comfortable having someone foisted on them. They’re not going to rush things.”