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Gartmore completes joint venture of private equity business with Hermes

Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Opalesque Industry Update – After an embarrassing controversy regarding its star manager’s involvement in alleged violations of internal procedures, Gartmore Group Ltd. on Tuesday finalized a private equity joint venture with Hermes Fund Managers. The deal eventually formed Hermes GPE with $6.255bn (£4.1bn) in AuM.

The joint venture will see Gartmore’s private equity group team up with its Hermes counterparts.

Gartmore is an asset management head-quartered in London with $33.5bn in AuM, and Hermes is asset and pension fund management company based in London with $37.5bn AuM.

The proposed agreement was first reported last December when Hermes was looking to list itself on the London Stock Exchange.

The joint venture has hired Alan Mackay, a former 3i partner, to be the chief executive of Hermes GPE, FT.com said. Susan Flynn and Peter Gale, respective heads of Hermes and Gartmore’s private equity fund of funds, will be its co-chief investment officers.

The market reacted positively with the news as Gartmore’s shares jumped 10p, or 7.1%, to 151p. The shares closed at 116p, down 53p late last month after the news broke out that one of its star fund managers, Guillaume Rambourg, had been suspended following an internal investigation into directing orders to buy and sell shares to chosen brokers. Gartmore came clean with the UK FSA – but this case was not related to the regulator’s recent insider trading sweep. The shares were valued at 220p when the investment house floated on the London Stock Exchange three months ago.

Shortly after the news about Rambourg’s suspension, Italian regulator Consob fined fund managers at Schroders, Oddo Asset Management and Dexia Asset Management, along with Rambourg almost €1m ($1.3m) for market abuse. This was unrelated to his suspension from Gartmore.

– Precy Dumlao & B Gravrand

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