GAM Holding AG reorganises its business structure

Zurich-based asset manager GAM Holding AG has announced a shift in its operating model from a pure financial holding company to a more integrated organisational structure, combining management responsibility for its operating businesses at Group level.

GAM Holding AG, listed on the Swiss SIX Exchange, is an independent asset management group, with some CHF116.8bn in assets under management. Its operating businesses – GAM and Swiss & Global Asset Management – develop and distribute actively managed investment products and services.

At the next Ordinary Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the end of his term on 17 April, Johannes de Gier, current chairman and CEO of GAM Holding AG, will stand for re-election to the Board of Directors, retaining only his position as chairman.

David Solo, currently the CEO of GAM Holding AG’s two operating businesses, will assume the newly created role of Group CEO. At the AGM, the board of directors will also propose the re-election of two other current members and the election of one new member.

Johannes de Gier, Dieter Enkelmann and Hugh Scott-Barrett whose terms of office as members of the board of directors expire in Apri will all stand for re-election.

The board will also nominate Tanja Weiher for election as a new independent member. Assuming a positive shareholder vote on these proposals, the board would increase from five to six members.

Combining Solo’s current management responsibilities in one role at the level of GAM Holding AG will simplify the Group’s executive structure and facilitate a transition to a more streamlined, functional organisation, replacing GAM Holding AG’s current status as a pure financial holding company, a statement said.

GAM and Swiss & Global Asset Management will remain distinct operating units with separately branded products, but the new structure will allow the Group to further integrate common functions and to exploit additional synergies.

The finance and risk functions across the group will now be combined in an expanded Group chief financial officer role under Marco Suter, currently Group head of risk.
After three years as GAM Holding AG’s chief financial officer, Andrew Wills will work closely with Marco Suter to transition his current responsibilities and subsequently pursue other opportunities outside the Group.

No extraordinary restructuring charges are expected from the reorganisation, further details of which will be provided on 5 March at the presentation of the 2012 annual results.

The Group will remain under the consolidated supervision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

De Gier said the changes reflect the changing nature of the business and the competitive environment.

“The increasing convergence of the core activities of GAM and Swiss & Global towards the management of onshore regulated funds means that both face similar challenges which are best addressed by bundling our support capabilities.”

“Further integration will allow us to manage our resources and the increased industry complexity more effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, we remain flexible and broadly diversified by retaining two operating units with multiple investment management teams, product brands and distribution capabilities.”

Weiher, set to join the board of directors, is the founder and managing partner of Weiher Partners, an independent consulting boutique based in Zurich, advising companies on strategy and process development.

She was previously a managing director at UBS where she led its group-wide strategy development unit and worked at UBS’s global wealth management and Swiss banking division.

 

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