Gartmore snatches European fund star Bennett from GAM

ACCLAIMED fund manager John Bennett is leaving asset manager GAM after 16 years at the group, to take over Gartmore&rsquo;s giant European retail funds.<br /><br />Glaswegian Bennett is to take over the &pound;1.5bn Gartmore European Selected Opportunities fund and its &pound;1.6bn Luxembourg-domiciled sister fund from star managers Roger Guy and Guillaume Rambourg.<br /><br />Guy and Rambourg are being freed up to focus on their hedge funds and the recently-launched European &ldquo;absolute return&rdquo; fund they run at the group, which aims for growth in all market conditions. <br /><br />And it is thought Gartmore will also launch a pan-European fund for Bennett &ndash; who describes his investment style as &ldquo;pragmatic&rdquo; &ndash; allowing him play to his strength of targeting a spread of large-cap equities across the continent. <br /><br />Bennett is set to remain at GAM until the end of 2009, to allow time for a replacement to be selected. <br /><br />The group said: &ldquo;During this period GAM will work closely with its clients to agree a longer-term arrangement that best meets their investment requirements.&rdquo;<br /><br />Bennett&rsquo;s GAM Star Continental European Equity fund has delivered an average return of nine per cent a year over the last five years.