Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Rock Investments SA is a French-incorporated entity that controls NewGAMe, a shareholder in GAM which actively opposed the failed takeover bid from Liontrust for the Swiss firm.

The previous takeover deal included an £8.9m loan from Liontrust, which GAM was forced to repay when its shareholders voted against the acquisition in August.

Failed GAM bid ‘will lead to restructuring’ as Liontrust outflows mount

The new agreement between GAM and Rock Investments SA has been agreed until 30 June 2025, with the option for it to be extended by an additional 12 months.

Additionally, Rock Investments SA, along with other NewGAMe investors will now control a 30% stake in GAM, following approval of its tender offer.

In the update, GAM said Rock Investments SA “has a reputation as a committed, long-term and knowledgeable investor and a proven track record of turning around businesses”, adding the new loan “secures financing and has assured long-term financial stability for the firm”.

Anthony Maarek, managing director of NJJ Holding, of which Rock Investments SA is a subsidiary, said: “GAM is an important long-term strategic investment for NJJ, and we are committed with management to restoring the company to a best-in-class global asset management firm. We view it as the first step in developing an investment pillar in financial services as part of NJJ’s long term strategy.”

Q3 AUM decline

According to the update, GAM’s total assets under management has declined CHF 3.1bn between the end of June and 30 September 2023.

At the beginning of the period, the firm’s AUM sat at CHF 68bn, falling to CHF 64.9bn over the three months.

GAM appoints chief risk officer Elmar Zumbuehl as CEO

The biggest losses stemmed from net outflows on its fixed income products, which experienced a CHF 1bn decline, followed by equity (CHF 400m), multi-asset (CHF 200m) and alternatives (CHF 100m).

On its fund management services portion, the AUM fell by CHF 1.4bn, with the largest net outflows from its Swiss based business (CHF 700m) and a further CHF 200m from the rest of its Europe enterprise. 

There was also a CHF 700m total outflow from the market FX portion of the company in Europe during the period.

Board updates

GAM also detailed a wave of new internal and external member appointments to the ‘group management board’, who will be overseen by the firm’s newly promoted CEO, Elmar Zumbuehl.

Zumbuehl had worked as the firm’s chief risk officer since 2017, and he replaced previous CEO candidate Randy Freeman, who withdrew from the process due to “unforeseen family circumstances”.

Albert Saporta, director of NewGAMe, who was highly involved in blockading the Liontrust bid, has been appointed to the firm’s board the global head of investments and products.

GAM shareholders approve new board at EGM

He joins existing GAM employees Rossen Djounov, who has been named global head of sales and distribution, GAM Luxembourg CEO Martin Jufer, who was named global chief operating officer, GAM UK CEO David Kemp, named global head of legal and compliance, and Richard McNamara the group’s chief financial officer, who rejoined the firm in February after the previous CFO departed.

Zumbuehl said he was “delighted” to have been able to strengthen the group’s leadership positions: “With these appointments and together we will lead the turnaround of GAM.

“Our first priority is to focus on investing in our client service and portfolio management teams. The continuing strong investment performance and the support from our anchor shareholder means that we can move forward with confidence and with a focus on growth and returning GAM to profitability.”

GAM shareholders previously approved the appointment of Antoine Spillmann, CEO and partner at Bruellan, a part of NewGAMe, as chair of the GAM board.

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