Dublin-based Pioneer Investments has suspended two fund managers, amid claims that both have been involved in efforts to set up another asset management company.
Industry sources told The Irish Times, the news outlet that broke the story, that the suspended individuals are Tanguy Le Saout, head of European fixed income, who oversees bond portfolio management and the company’s European credit research, and Ali Chabaane, head of portfolio construction, covering equities, bonds and other assets.
Cosimo Marascuilo, head of European government bonds, and Declan Murray, global chief of staff for investments, will cover the suspended pair’s duties, according to the Irish Times report. The firm has told clients, as it informed them of the developments in recent days, that no regulatory or corporate breaches have occurred, the report noted.
Efforts to contact the four men and a spokeswoman for Pioneer in Dublin were unsuccessful, while a spokesman for the asset manager in Boston also declined to comment. However, a source told International Investment that details of the suspension were correct, and that regulators and clients have been informed of the changes to the investment team.
News of the suspensions comes in the same week that it has been revealed that Pioneer’s parent, Italian bank Unicredit, has entered into exclusive talks to sell the firm to Europe’s largest asset manager, French investment outfit Amundi, in a deal that is believed to value the business in the region of US$3.77bn (€3.5bn).
A deal is seen as part of efforts by the Italian group to raise as much as US$14.03bn (€13bn) through asset sales and a share sale, according to reports.
The Italian banking system in general is struggling with bad loans and, as reported, a move by Italian voters to reject a referendum on constitutional reform on Sunday, prompting prime minister Matteo Renzi to say he is resigning, is seen as hampering the efforts of the country’s banks, particularly Monte dei Paschi di Siena, to raise capital.