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This week in Investment

The latest round of restructuring at Hendersons Global Investors looks to be the most dramatic the group has performed for some time. Two years ago Phil Jefferson was brought in as head of UK wholesale to get on with the onerous task of restructuring the retail distribution of an illustrious fund house that had lost its way.

The group has created a listed asset vehicle which will be responsible for all sales, distribution and product marketing. It will be headed up by head of equities Andrew Formica and head of fixed income David Jacob.

These two are probably the two most senior personnel left standing at the group which has seen huge changes over the last few years. Kate O’Neill comes across from running the offshore business to become head of pan European wholesale meaning there is no room for Phil Jefferson who will pursue other opportunities according to the group. Managing director Mike Clare will also retire.

Jefferson’s case is curious considering that he is credited by a number of IFAs as being instrumental to the slow but steady recovery of fortunes at the group. Jefferson has streamlined the retail business and made some tough calls on underperforming fund managers.

Some IFAs believe the organisation is still top heavy with marketing and sales personnel and it looks like Jefferson may have become a victim of his own success.

He told one IFA not long ago that he needed a total of three years to sort out the retail business at the group. Jefferson has lasted less than two so some believe he may have lost out in a power struggle.

The press release from Henderson was hardly glowing in its recognition of Jefferson’s role at the group and perhaps understandably has chosen to dwell instead on the merits of Jacob and Formica.

New Star’s Alan Miller may have been one of the sellers in a 43m placement by New Star employees. While managing director Mark Skinner cashed in a cool 1.8m worth of shares there was press speculation that Miller had cashed in nearly 15m worth.

Given that employees who bought shares in the group are locked in until 2009 and can only divulge up to 20 per cent per year, Miller’s divestment, if true, would weigh in well above this figure and would add fuel to the rumours that he is seeking to exit the group rather than return at the end of his sabbatical next January.

John Duffield himself has remained totally invested however, as if his commitment needed underlining.


Gummer pledge to clean up second-charge loan sector

The Association of Finance Brokers insists it can self-regulate the secured loan market after officially launching last week. AFB chairman John Gummer, who holds the same role with Aifa and the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, says the market is capable of getting its own house in order rather than requiring FSA policing. AFB director-general Chris […]

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