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Gartmore in swoop for Insight Fof team

Insight Investment has been rocked by the surprise defection of its fund of funds team to Gartmore less than a year after it acquired the multi-manager operation in a deal for Rothschild Asset Management.

In a move marking the end of a year-long search for a Fof offering, Gartmore has recruited Bambos Hambi, head of Insight&#39s wealth management services, his deputy Marcus Brookes and their investment team of three. They are expected to join within three months to set up the new service, which Gartmore hopes will be running before the start of the 2004 Isa season.

The move is a major loss to Insight, which had bought RAM principally for the well respected operation in December 2002. It also recently recruited Nigel Whittingham from Edinburgh Fund Managers as managing director of the multi-manager team.

Gartmore says discussions about what funds the managers will run are at an early stage but three UK and internationally focused funds are expected to be launched initially.

It hopes the service will attract £350-400m within two months of opening.

Director of UK retail Paul Feeney says: “We targeted this team right from when we started looking 12 months ago. We did not want to just dip our toe in the water, we wanted to enter the market properly and that is what we are doing. It is clear proof of our ambition.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “It is a blow to Insight, there is a limited pool of talent around. But I have to question why Bambos and his team are moving. The last thing that we need is another multi-manager service.”

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