Newton's Standard & Poor's AA-rated European fund manager Keiran Gallagher has left to join Legg Mas...
Newton's Standard & Poor's AA-rated European fund manager Keiran Gallagher has left to join Legg Mason Investors as head of European equities and chief investment officer.
Legg Mason has refused to say whether he will take over management of the £11m Legg Mason European growth fund currently managed by Jeremy Knight. It does not expect to have Gallagher on board until early next year.
Newton is refusing to comment on Gallagher's defection and maintains he will remain for the time being at the head of the fund.
Gallagher joined Newton in 1993 and was head of European equities and a member of Newton's investment committee. Prior to joining Newton, Keiran was employed as a fund manager specialising in European equities at Sun Life where he worked for five years. His first role after graduating was at IBM (NZ) where he worked from 1985 to 1988 as a Corporate Planning Analyst.
Commenting on the move, Bambos Hambi, head of portfolio services at Rothschild Asset Management, says Newton had now lost a number of key members of the European team and needs to show commitment to investors by going out into the market and recruiting a credible replacement.
Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, adds: "This has come as somewhat of a shock especially since both Colin Harris, their Chief Executive, and Charles Richard, their CIO, failed to renew their contracts earlier in the year. Even more of a blow was the loss of Toby Thompson, manager of the Higher Income fund, one of their best performing funds over 5 and 10 years."
He says: "Now is not the time to sell. Newton have always prided themselves on a team-based management approach and insist performance is not reliant on one person's management ability. Markets all over the world are experiencing an unprecedented time of volatility and we must all adopt a painful "sit and wait" attitude. We must also wait and see who Keiran's successor will be and what his/her future plans are strategy-wise."
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