GAM boss quits as crisis deepens

GAM’s chief executive Alexander Friedman has stepped down from his role, as the troubled Swiss asset manager struggles to stop the outflows following the suspension of a top manager.

The board has appointed David Jacob as interim group chief executive and member of the group management Board, whilst a search for a new CEO is conducted. Jacob has extensive industry experience, having held senior leadership roles at a number of asset management businesses.

The decision comes after a troubled period for GAM, prompted by its decision at the end of July to suspend star fund manager Tim Haywood.

GAM discovered that Haywood, who oversaw more than $7bn of assets across a range of absolute return bond funds, may have breached internal policies relating to record keeping and risk management.

Jacob’s immediate priority will be to ensure that the steps necessary to drive forward GAM’s strategy and to support profitability are actioned as soon as possible. Further updates will be given in due course.

Jacob’s appointment as interim CEO is subject to the customary regulatory approvals. He will remain on the board of directors throughout his tenure as interim CEO but step down from the Audit and Compensation Committees. His role on the Compensation Committee will be taken by Benjamin Meuli, a member of the board of directors since 2016, with immediate effect.

Friedman (pictured) was appointed the group chief executive officer and became chairman of the group management board of GAM Holding AG in 2014. Prior to joining the group, he served as the global chief investment officer of UBS Wealth Management and Wealth Management Americas, as chairman of the UBS Global Investment Committee and as a group managing director.

Before that, he was the chief financial officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a senior advisor to Lazard, and a member of the supervisory board of private equity firm Actis.

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