Nearly Half of GAM’s Board to Step Down

Three board directors won’t be running for reelection at the troubled asset manager.

Zurich, Switzerland (Alessandro Della Bella/Bloomberg)

Zurich, Switzerland

(Alessandro Della Bella/Bloomberg)

Months after announcing a major restructuring of the company, Swiss asset manager GAM Holding will also get an overhaul of its board.

Three of the company’s seven board directors plan to step down after GAM’s annual meeting next month, according to a statement from the asset manager. The departing board members — Diego du Monceau, Ezra Field, and Monica Mächler — have decided not to stand for re-election at the May 8 meeting, the firm said in the statement made on Thursday.

In their place, GAM has nominated Katia Coudray, ex-CEO of Syz Asset Management; Jacqui Irvine, former group general counsel of Janus Henderson Group; and Monika Machon, previously the treasurer at AIG.

The asset management firm has been struggling amid the fallout resulting from a whistleblower investigation that led to the dismissal of bond head Tim Haywood for “gross misconduct” – a dismissal which he has appealed. News of Haywood’s initial suspension last summer was followed by a surge of redemption requests, which in turn prompted GAM to liquidate its $7 billion bond funds.

[II Deep Dive: GAM Investments Bleeds $18 Billion in a Single Quarter]

In the months after Haywood’s suspension, compliance head Natalie Baylis resigned and chief executive Alexander Friedman agreed to step down.


By the end of last year, assets in GAM’s investment management unit had fallen to CHF 56.1 billion (roughly $56.1 billion) from CHF 84.4 billion at the end of 2017, according to the firm’s 2018 earnings statement. The closure of the absolute-return bond funds resulted in a CHF 11 billion drop in the unit’s assets.

The asset management firm has since launched a restructuring program that includes a 10 percent reduction in its staff and other cost-savings strategies.

“We are repositioning GAM to build on the strong investment expertise we have in our business, with a distinct set of strategies that are relevant for client needs and a global distribution network to support our client relationships,” interim CEO David Jacob said in the February earnings statement. “A simplified business structure and more efficient processes will enable us to focus on areas of strength as well as allowing us to further enhance our control environment.”

Jacob is up for re-election to the firm’s board of directors, as are current chairman Hugh Scott-Barret and board members Benjamin Meuli and Nancy Mistretta.