Pioneer silent on reports of staff defecting to launch rival

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Pioneer Investments is refusing to comment on reports that it has suspended two senior members of staff due to allegations they were attempting to set up a rival investment firm ahead of the asset manager’s sale.

Unicredit, the Italian bank that owns Pioneer, has entered exclusive talks with Amundi to sell the €220.7bn asset manager.

The Financial Times reported Tanguy Le Saout, head of European fixed income, and Ali Chabaane, head of portfolio construction, were being investigated.

They manage a €31.2bn team with many institutional clients that would have a high likelihood of following the managers.

A spokeswoman for Pioneer said the asset manager had no comment to make on the Financial Times report.

An acquisition by Amundi would likely mean job losses for Pioneer.

Just yesterday, M&G announced that it had appointed Pioneer’s Neil Donnelly its chief compliance officer.

In October, Jupiter confirmed the appointment of Alejandro Arevalo as an emerging market debt fund manager, who would also join from Pioneer.