New Star boss hits back at bullying claims in job case

The former head of New Star Asset Management, John Duffield, whose reputation was dragged through the mud in an employment tribunal last month, hit back yesterday at allegations he had bullied employees.

The veteran fund manager Patrick Evershed claimed unfair dismissal against New Star at a tribunal last month, saying that he had been suspended shortly after complaining about Mr Duffield's abusive behaviour.

The case was settled out of court on 7 December without an admission of liability.

Mr Duffield said yesterday that he wished to correct "the one-sided view in the public mind" of his conduct while in charge of New Star.

In his first public statement since the case was settled, Mr Duffield denied Mr Evershed's "extreme and colourful" claims that he had bullied employees and that his behaviour contributed to the demise of New Star, which was taken over by its banks and sold to rival fund manager Henderson in 2009.

"I deliberately created an environment in which they [New Star employees] had freedom to invest wherethey wished subject to compliance and regulation," he said.

Mr Duffield also alleged that Mr Evershed had left his previous employer, Rathbones, in acrimonious circumstances after threatening to sue for constructive dismissal, adding that "the matter was only resolved after I intervened and negotiated a peaceful settlement on Patrick's behalf".

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