Ivory & Sime rebuilds fund manager team

Ivory & Sime, the troubled Edinburgh investment management group, yesterday moved to repair some of the damage caused by last week's ousting of managing director Colin Hook by announcing the recruitment of five senior fund managers.

The new recruits will fill some of the gaps created in the last two months by the departure of seven executives, including two board members, which has prompted speculation that the group is ripe to be taken over.

But Sir David Kinloch, who was drafted in by Caledonia Investments, Ivory's controlling shareholder, to replace Mr Hook, again firmly rebutted any suggestion that the group was for sale and suggested that morale was starting to improve. "I would like to think things are much more stable here." The group had not lost any of its funds under management since the latest upheavals came to light, he said. "I think clients are broadly happy. None have indicated they want to leave."

The new team is headed by Raymond Haines, a former head of investments at Hill Samuel Asset Management.

Also joining are Paul Galloway, a refugee from General Accident, which is moving its fund management operation to London, Danika O'Neal, who is coming from Investment Bank Austria to take up a new role covering European smaller companies and Raymond Abbott, coming back to Ivory after seven months with the Royal Bank of Scotland. The fifth recruit, George Purves, is already in place as senior dealer after 30 years with Edinburgh stockbrokers Bell Lawrie White.

Sir David said they were still working on filling one or two further gaps, but added: "I think this is an indication we haven't been idle." They had been working on recruiting people over the past five weeks. "We had quite a lot of interest, but it would be wrong to say people were beating a path to our door."

He refused to be drawn on whether Ivory was looking for a replacement at board level for Gordon Neilly, the former business development director, who left at the end of last year.

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