New Star Asset Management employees have cashed in around 40m-worth of shares, with speculation that fund manager Alan Miller, who is on a sabbatical, may have sold up to 15m in stock.New Star managing director Mark Skinner has also sold over 310,000 shares, netting him nearly 1.185m. Staff who bought shares in the group following its 700m flotation last November have been locked into a share scheme until 2009 but are allowed to divest up to around 20 per cent of their shares each year. Miller went on sabbatical earlier this month following a high-profile divorce and poor recent performance but the group has insisted that he will return in January. His share sale would be well over the agreed level under the 2009 scheme and it is thought such a move could pave the way for his departure from the group. A spokesman would not comment on whether Miller has negotiated his own exit strategy and would not be returning. He also declined to confirm the amount of shares divested by Miller.