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Duffield sets a fund clash course with New Star trek

Former Jupiter boss John Duffield is pushing ahead with plans to start a fund company despite claims by Jupiter&#39s parent company Commerzbank that the move could be a breach of his contract.

A spokesman for Duffield says he is seeking Imro approval for the business, believed to be called New Star Asset Management, continuing with his astronomical theme.

Duffield is suing Commerzbank for unfair dismissal. The case is not expected to reach the courts until the end of this year.

The bank claims he will not be eligible to start a new company for 12 months after his departure from Jupiter unless his court case is successful. It says it is consulting its lawyers on the contract terms.

But Duffield&#39s spokesman confirms he has applied for Imro approval, a process which usually takes no more than six months. If the application goes through quickly, he could have the firm operating before the court case starts.

New Star Asset Management, New Star Investment Management and New Star Unit Trust Managers are all registered by Duffield&#39s lawyers Herbert Smith. Website domains in the company names were bought by Herbert Smith shortly after Duffield left Jupiter.

His spokesman confirms he is looking to build up his new business through acquisitions and that he has already approached a number of small fund management firms.

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