GAM duo take on Asian funds after manager dies on South Africa holiday

Among the funds Kaye and Lai will co-run are the £124.5m GAM Pacific and the £280.5m GAM Star Asia-Pacific Equity. The funds were all managed by Mytton, who died aged 47 on December 19 while on holiday in South Africa. Mytton had been at GAM since 1995.

In addition to taking over management of the Pacific funds, which is effective immediately, Kaye will continue to take responsibility for the Japanese equity funds at GAM, while Lai will manage the group’s primary Asia ex Japan funds. He will also be sole manager of the GAM Asian Hedge fund he previously co-managed with Mytton. Lai will join Kaye as co-head of the Pacific investment team.

Clare Dobie, group head of marketing at GAM, says that because of Kaye and Lai’s familiarity with the Pacific fund’s portfolio, they are likely to continue to manage the fund using its current structure. GAM says that its pan-Pacific equity team works closely together and often shares analysts and investment ideas, as well as research.

Dobie says: “Lesley and Michael have been very closely involved in the Pacific funds and will be working with the same ideas.” She adds that this would suggest minimal, if any, significant changes will be made to the investment strategy for the Pacific funds or to the portfolios at the present time.

GAM’s Pacific and Star Asia-Pacific Equity funds are currently being run with a long-term approach while avoiding overvalued sectors. The Pacific fund posted returns of 22.2% last year, while the Star Asia-Pacific fund grew 13.9% in 2004. Over half of both funds is currently invested in Japan.

Kaye will continue to be based in London; Lai is based in Hong Kong. GAM has yet to appoint a successor to Mytton as investment director.