John Duffield hits back to deny bullying

JOHN Duffield, the former chief executive of New Star, has broken his silence over the bullying accusations levelled by his ex-employee Patrick Evershed.

Duffield did not appear in court at the employment tribunal for the unfair dismissal case brought against New Star owners Henderson by Evershed, which settled out of court on 7 December. But Duffield yesterday reopened the war by exercising his right to reply to Evershed’s “extreme and colourful statements”.

In his only response to the court hearing, a statement on Duffield’s personal website refuted Evershed’s claim that he bullied fund managers at New Star to the detriment of the funds’ performance, claiming that he “deliberately created an environment in which [fund managers] had freedom to invest where they wished”.

Duffield, who now runs Brompton Asset Management, cited evidence given at the tribunal by Roger Dossett, the former UK property fund manager at New Star. Dossett said at the hearing: “[Duffield] certainly did not bully me or any members of my property team, otherwise I would have given in my notice.”

Duffield also denied Evershed’s allegations that 20 employees took time off from New Star due to sickness and stress, claiming the real figure was nine staff over the period in question, and he rejected the claim he pressured Evershed into enlarging the fund he was managing.

Gregor Logan, New Star’s chief investment officer, was an innocent victim of Evershed’s claims, added Duffield. “Gregor and my other former colleagues are very capable people with total integrity,” he said.