Scottish Widows Investment Management has been rocked by the sudden departure of three of its five-strong European team.
The resignations, which include its high profile head Albert Morillo, comes just weeks after managing director of unit trusts Jamie Macleod was poached by Investec Guinness Flight.
But Widows claims the departures are not connected to the uncertainty surrounding its deal with Lloyds TSB which will result in SWIM combining forces with Hill Samuel.
Morillo, along with two investment directors David Stanistreet and Ken Anderson have tendered resignations to take up posts at US asset management subsidiary BlackRock based in Edinburgh.
Two members of the client service team are also leaving for BlackRock.
The European desk will now be headed by Fiona MacRae who has been with the team since the early eighties.
Widows communications manager Alan Young says: “Albert Morillo had a very important role in the marketplace and obviously made a significant contribution to the success of the fund. But we still have in place two managers who have been there for 10 years, in Fiona MacRae and Franciose Watson, at the core of the European desk.”