Licht to leave MAM for Jupiter

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The Independent Online
LEONARD LICHT, Mercury Asset Management's pounds 610,000-a-year vice-chairman, has been 'poached' to join the investment manager Jupiter Tyndall Group, of which MAM owns 23 per cent.

MAM has written pounds 4m off its stake in Jupiter Tyndall which it acquired last August when it underwrote a share issue. The stake was worth pounds 7m then, but was written down to pounds 3m in the last report and accounts.

The report and accounts said that Jupiter Tyndall was not considered an associate company because 'the group does not consider itself to be in a position to exercise significant interest'.

A spokesman for MAM said: 'The stake is an investment and (Licht's recruitment) does not enter into it.' A spokesman for Jupiter Tyndall said Mr Licht was poached from MAM to run the pension fund management division, which manages funds of less than pounds 1bn. MAM's funds under management total pounds 40bn.

Stephen Zimmerman, deputy chairman of MAM and Mr Licht's direct superior, is taking over his day-to-day responsibilities as head of the specialist equity division.

Mr Licht, 47, has been with MAM for over 20 years and is a close personal friend of Mr Zimmerman. He will be staying for a brief period while his responsibilities are handed over.

Jupiter Tyndall has been beset by acrimony since the group was formed last autumn when Jupiter Tarbutt Merlin took over the Tyndall financial services group.

MAM underwrote Jupiter's share issue, which financed the takeover, but was left with its stake when the issue was poorly received. Jupiter Tyndall shares have fallen from 167p at the time of the bid to 108p yesterday.

Jupiter Tyndall has been sacked as manager of both European Project Investment Trust and Pacific Horizon Investment Trust. The management contracts of both came with Tyndall.