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Bazalgette to retire as M&G investment chief

M&G is hunting for a new chief investment officer for equities following Vivian Bazalgette&#39s announcement of his intention to retire by the end of the year.

His retirement means that M&G will join other big players, including Invesco Perpetual and Morley, in seeking replacements for highprofile positions.

Bazalgette, 50, has been with M&G for six years. He has been responsible for running its capital fund for the last eight months although he is recuperating from major knee surgery and the fund is being managed by his deputy Hak Salih.

When he returns, Bazal-gette will take over managing the £141m capital fund until a permanent replacement is found.

The news comes as dividend fund and extra income fund manager Richard Plackett has quit after five years to write an historical novel and play tournament bridge.

He will be replaced by his deputy Richard Hughes.

Last week, New Star recruited Morley institutional manager James Gledhill to run its retail corporate bond team alongside Theo Zemek, M&G International&#39s former chief investment officer.

Invesco Perpetual is still reeling from the loss of UK manager Stephen Whittaker to New Star and has been further hit by the news that European smaller companies fund manager Claire Griffiths is taking a three-month sabbatical to improve her conversational French.

Rathbone Unit Trust Man-agers also recently fell victim to New Star with the loss of special situations manager Patrick Evershed.

M&G managing director Phil Wagstaff says: “Vivian has done a great job. He has revitalised the team and leaves behind a solid structure and range of funds.”

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “It will be a loss to M&G but the fact that he staying on as CIO until a replacement can be found means it is not such a major blow.”

Comment, p37

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