May 31, 2018 / 10:47 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Guggenheim executive exits, tenure caused rift in company

(Adds Guggenheim statement)

By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - A Guggenheim Partners LP executive, Alexandra Court, whose time at the New York and Chicago-based asset manager caused a rift between senior management and raised concerns about its corporate culture, left the company after a year’s sabbatical.

Court did not respond to requests for comment, but her LinkedIn page lists her employment as ending as of April 2018.

A Guggenheim spokesman confirmed her departure from the money manager, describing it as a resignation. The firm serves pension funds and other institutional clients and has $305 billion under management.

Court began working for Guggenheim in 2010, helping to expand its European business, but her promotion to global head of institutional distribution resulted in the firing of 22 staff members and tensions with Guggenheim Chief Investment Officer Scott Minerd over relationships with clients.

Guggenheim staff also complained that Court lacked the relevant U.S. securities licenses, according to earlier media reports.

Reports about the company’s internal strife caused concern among clients, who publicly discussed whether the company’s culture had deteriorated and whether they should consider investing elsewhere.

Court’s personal relationship with Guggenheim Chief Executive and co-founder Mark Walter were also a subject of staff and client concern.

Michael Sitrick, a spokesman for Guggenheim, previously said Court and Walter “only have a business relationship,” but that any personal relationship would have been disclosed to the company.

In a statement on Thursday that is similar to the content on Court’s website, Guggenheim said the sales division’s restructuring resulted in $10 million in annual savings without costing clients.

“The company disagrees with the manner in which her many successes at Guggenheim were disregarded and mischaracterized by the press,” Guggenheim said. Guggenheim declined to answer additional questions about Court.

Court has been negotiating a departure from the firm since last year.

“Alexandra is now focused on her own entrepreneurial and social impact interests, as well as advising businesses on growth strategies and implementation plans,” according to her website.

Guggenheim last month said it was cooperating with an investigation of one of its subsidiaries related to transactions involving ABS Capital Co LLC, which is owned by two former Guggenheim managers.

ABS drew attention partly for its purchases of one property in Malibu, California, and another two also in Southern California. Court lived in one of the homes, according to media reports.

Guggenheim has not been accused of wrongdoing. The SEC has not discussed the investigation.

A spokesman for ABS previously said it did not borrow any money from the Guggenheim subsidiary, Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, or assets managed by them “in connection with the financing of those homes, or for any other purpose.” (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Jennifer Ablan and Clive McKeef)

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