GAM may not replace exiting staff as sliding markets spur losses

GAM Holding’s CEO Peter Sanderson said he might not approve replacements for employees who leave the embattled investment firm that is struggling with losses and declining assets under management.

“I am pushing back hard on replacement hires and trying to be disciplined as we simplify the business,” Mr. Sanderson said in an email to employees earlier this week seen by Bloomberg News. The firm is reviewing costs, although redundancies won’t be at the scale seen previously, he said.

A spokesperson for Zurich-based GAM confirmed the content of the email.

The investment firm is once again in cost-cutting mode amid sliding assets and revenue, just four years after it was sent into a tailspin by the suspension of star trader Tim Haywood. The company is exploring a potential sale after previous attempts to find a buyer stalled, Bloomberg News reported last week.

Asset managers globally have been struggling to adapt as interest rate increases by major central banks have sent markets tumbling in the first six months.

GAM posted a first-half loss of 275 million Swiss francs ($289 million) after it was forced to write down the value of its brand, and market volatility curbed client risk and assets under management.

As part of the move to reduce expenses, the firm last month shut down multiple funds that oversaw a combined 167 million francs of assets, putting at risk the jobs of at least six money managers in a revamp of its fixed-income trading strategies.

There have also been recent fund manager departures. Richard Briggs, an investment manager for emerging markets debt in London, is set to join Candriam in October.

Portfolio managers Reiko Mito and Christophe Eggmann also left in recent weeks, the spokesperson confirmed, adding that Ms. Mito will be replaced.

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