| ZURICH, March 6
ZURICH, March 6 Activist hedge fund investor RBR
suggested outgoing GAM Holding Chairman Johannes de
Gier consider bringing in a new chief executive at the Swiss
asset manager, a source familiar with the meeting told Reuters.
The meeting was also attended by Hugh Scott-Barrett, whom
GAM last week nominated to replace de Gier, rejecting RBR's
recommendation for chairman.
A GAM spokeswoman said the company does not comment on the
content of private meetings with shareholders.
An external communications adviser for RBR did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.
Amid rocky financial markets GAM posted net outflows of 10.7
billion Swiss francs ($10.6 billion) in 2016, when its share
price fell almost 30 percent. Performance fees also plummeted to
3 million francs from 82.8 million.
Since joining Zurich-based GAM in September 2014, Chief
Executive Alexander Friedman has overhauled part of the
company's senior management team, closed or merged almost 70
funds, and outsourced its middle and back offices.
In 2016, GAM also cut fixed staff costs and general expenses
by around 16 million francs and plans a further reduction of 30
million francs francs through 2019.
However, RBR has suggested the company could be doing more
to cut costs and suggested management of its portfolio managers
could be improved, the person said.
GAM disclosed last week that RBR had taken a 2.1 percent
stake in the company but RBR has bought additional shares and
now holds roughly double that, the person said.
According a filing on Monday on the Swiss stock exchange
website, RBR founder and Chief Investment Officer Rudolf Bohli
holds a 3.28 percent stake in GAM through two RBR funds.
Friedman said last week the company's management had met
with RBR but declined to give any details on what was said at
($1 = 1.0080 Swiss francs)
(Editing by Michael Shields)