Regulators To Open Investigation Into Gartmore's Star Trader

Jun 1 2010 | 12:21pm ET

U.K.-based asset management firm Gartmore Group on Tuesday said that regulators are gearing up to open an investigation into their star trader Guillaume Rambourg, who was unceremoniously suspended and then reinstated earlier this year.

Gartmore said that the Financial Services Authority has informed the firm that it plans to open an investigation into Rambourg "to determine whether he has met the standards required by an FSA-approved person."

Word of the investigation pushed the asset manager's shares lower Tuesday. The news is a blow for the London firm, which has suffered from over US$1 billion in redemptions in the wake of Rambourg's initial suspension in March, which was a result of his breach of internal trading practices.

Redemptions are not the firm's only problem: Morgan Stanley announced in April that it has cut its projected inflows into Gartmore hedge funds by one-third to £1.4 billion for next year, due to the initial probe and the impact it has been having on the firm.

Gartmore said in a statement at the time that Rambourg is suspected of “breaches of internal procedures regarding directing trades,” or favoring some brokers over others.

Rambourg is part of Gartmore’s European investment team and a close collaborator of Roger Guy, Gartmore’s star manager. Guy and Rambourg’s team manage almost 37% of the firm’s assets. However, when Rambourg was reinstated late in March, the firm said he would serve only an analyst.

Rambourg has been with Gartmore for 14 years. He and Guy manage Gartmore’s two largest hedge funds, including its US$2.3 billion Alphagen Capella Fund.

No other Gartmore employees—including Guy—are under investigation. The firm and the FSA offered no timetable for the probe.

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