The former New Star fund manager Patrick Evershed lost his temper on his last day, calling a senior manager a "berk" and a "runt", an employment tribunal was told yesterday.
The experienced small cap manager – who is claiming £1m for unfair dismissal – called chief investment officer Gregor Logan a "despicable berk" and a "vile little runt", according to Henry Evans, Mr Evershed's personal assistant at New Star.
An argument erupted over whether Mr Evershed could buy shares in HBOS. He wanted to top up his position as Lloyds had bid for the firm, but Mr Logan refused him permission. Such meddling was unusual, said Mr Evans. "New Star's whole ethos was not to let managers be clouded by a house view," he said.
In his statement to the court, Mr Evershed said that Mr Logan was part of the bullying culture under New Star's founder John Duffield. "Gregor would try to humiliate me by mocking my predictions," he said.
Mr Evans told the tribunal that Mr Evershed "told Logan he had a very low regard for his professional judgement". He said he thought Mr Evershed was annoyed at being undermined by Logan.
Recalling the day of the argument, Mr Evershed said: "Gregor's interference made me very cross," adding that the pair "had a bad relationship for some considerable time as we had polarised views about the economy." He said that Mr Logan had bullied property fund managers to continue investing in the market, despite concerns. "I had expressed these concerns to Gregor but got only snide remarks back," Mr Evershed said.
On Monday it was revealed he had signed an agreement to keep his fund open to new investors despite saying last week that he had fought it. Mr Evershed said he was "bullied" into keeping the fund open.
The trial is expected to continue until the end of the week.
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