Tiff At Top As Gartmore Faces Skeptical Investors

Apr 5 2010 | 1:02pm ET

Gartmore Group may face redemptions following the suspension of one of its top hedge fund managers, but the firm’s CEO says clients are sticking with the firm so far—despite the unhappiness of Gartmore’s star manager.

The London-based firm last week suspended Guillaume Rambourg on suspicion that he broke Gartmore’s internal rules by directing trades. The news promptly sent the firm’s shares into a tailspin and many of its clients to the phones, CEO Jeff Meyer said. But while many have expressed their concern, few are yanking their money as of now.

“Clients greatly appreciated hearing about it from us, but the reaction has been guarded,” Meyer told Reuters. “We’re having lots of discussions [last week] with large shareholders and clients.”

One of those conversations, however, took a turn that cannot have made Meyer happy. Roger Guy, co-manager of Gartmore’s hedge funds with Rambourg, blasted the firm’s “excessive” rules and took a shot at Meyer’s leadership.

“I’ve never been involved in the day-to-day management of the firm, but maybe I should have been after this,” Guy said on a conference call with investors, the Financial Times reports.

“I didn’t agree with the rule when it was introduced” in December, following Gartmore’s initial public offering, Guy added. “I thought it was excessive.”

Gartmore’s star hedge fund manager also offered a full-throated endorsement of his suspended co-manager, adding that he hoped Rambourg would be back within a month.

“Guillaume has my full support,” Guy said. “He’s a fantastic person and a fantastic fund manager.”

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