Gartmore star Roger Guy to retire

Gartmore star manager Roger Guy is to retire from day-to-day fund management.

The asset manager has also announced a strategic review, led by Goldman Sachs, which could see the firm being sold or merged. Gartmore’s share price had dropped 21% by 10am this morning to 99.7p.

Gartmore says it is to combine its European large-cap and all-cap teams into a single European equities team led by John Bennett as a result of Guy’s departure.

The new European equities team will be fully implemented before the end of the year with Guy available to help on a consultancy basis until May 2011. The firm says senior portfolio manager Darrell O’Dea is to leave after the European teams are merged. Guy’s European large caps team manages £3.5 billion of assets. (article continues below)

In a statement to the stock market this morning, Gartmore has also announced that Dominic Rossi, chief investment officer, is to resign to take up a role at another asset manager.

The firm has announced a £10m a year cost saving programme. New equity representing up to 15% of the company is also being made available to retain and incentivise key employees. Assets under management grew 4% between June 30 and September 30, from £19.9 billion to £20.7 billion, although there were £0.7 billion of net outflows.

Guy says: “As I step back from day to day fund management in the New Year, the assets I manage will be transitioned to an extremely strong team, led by John Bennett, and which includes Leopold Arminjon and Tomas Pinto whom I have worked closely with over the last three years. I greatly respect and have every confidence in John and his whole team to continue delivering value for clients after I leave the business in May 2011. I intend to remain an investor in the funds after they have transitioned to John’s team.”

Jeffrey Meyer, chief executive officer, says:  “2010 has been a difficult year for the company. The executive management team and the Board have a responsibility to ensure the group’s current strategy of building independent, broadly-based, team-oriented portfolio management expertise is the optimal way to deliver value to shareholders in the future. The Board has therefore appointed Goldman Sachs to evaluate the strategic options available to the firm. These may include the possibility of a sale or merger. “

“Roger Guy’s decision to retire follows 17 years managing money at Gartmore. We respect his wish to spend more time pursuing other interests, not least spending more time with his young family. We are pleased to have him available until next May to ensure a smooth transition.”