Gartmore to lock in more key managers

AILING fund manager Gartmore is considering extending a share incentivisation scheme designed to lock in key staff as fears grow of defections.

Gartmore was rocked two months ago when Guillaume Rambourg, a star European fund manager, resigned to concentrate on a Financial Services Authority inquiry into irregular trades made through his account. Small companies expert Gervais Williams also quit last week.

Gartmore, whose share price has plunged by nearly half since its flotation in December, has locked in well-regarded employees with shares worth £13.5m – equivalent to 3.5 per cent of the company’s equity. The investment house could now extend the award programme to cover more people as rival firms eye an opportunity to poach talented individuals.

Last week, experienced headhunter Alexis Dogilewski of Exeter Executive Search told City A.M. other asset managers could try to lure away Gartmore’s best-regarded portfolio boss, Roger Guy, as the company is dogged by uncertainty.

Gartmore has moved to bolster its position by bringing in industry old hand Robert Kyprianou as a non-executive. Chief executive Jeff Mayer will also lead a roadshow to convince customers Gartmore is recovering.