Here’s the firm’s comment:
“Guillaume Rambourg has concluded that under the current circumstances he is unable to fully contribute to the performance of the business. He has, therefore, decided to resign to devote his attention to concluding the FSA investigation into his conduct and to allow Gartmore to put these matters behind it. We respect his decision and wish him well for the future.”
Here’s the thing: Guillaume is Gartmore’s #1 portfolio manager. He also owns 4% of the firm.
When he was suspended a few months ago, investors pulled over $1 billion. It’s likely that worse will happen now.
Here’s why his resigning is not surprising:
Gartmore suspended Rambourg because he was being investigated back in March for influencing his traders to execute trades through particular brokers.
Gartmore instituted a fund rule last year that managers should not be involved in selecting brokers. Then Gartmore found out that Rambourg had used Bloomberg’s instant messaging system to IM traders and “direct” trades for nearly a year after their rules on had changed. So they suspended him.
There is no evidence that he received kickbacks from brokers. The only concrete evidence we’ve seen of his “benefiting” from using specific brokers comes from Reuters, who say that some brokers have donated money to Rambourg’s charities. Yet the fund suspended him, which looks really bad for both parties. Rambourg’s reputation went instantly from star trader to trader basically accused of taking kickbacks.
It does appear Rambourg did one thing that looks suspicious: skirt the company’s IT system and talk to traders through Bloomberg IM.
But “a number of people said this sounds like this is a little bit too far, too much of a rap on the knuckles,” Jeffrey Meyer, chief executive officer of London-based Gartmore, told Bloomberg at the time.
Yeah, clearly, and it’s also obvious that by “a number of people,” Meyer meant a number of investors, who would likely invest in Rambourg’s own fund if he were to launch one.
Now he’s probably going to do exactly that, if someone else doesn’t snatch him up first.