Horlick on point of promotion before suspension

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The Independent Online
Nicola Horlick, suspended as one of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management's most senior fund managers last Tuesday, was in serious negotiations to secure the number two position at the firm just days before she was suspended, it emerged last night.

Yesterday she indicated her intention to resign as a director of the fund manager. "We can confirm that Mrs Horlick has expressed a wish to resign," a spokesman for Deutsche Morgan Grenfell said.

Ms Horlick, 35, had been discussions on the managing director's position, a post which would have effectively made her deputy to Robert Smith the newly-appointed chief executive. He was brought in the wake of controversy after Morgan Grenfell sacked Peter Young, its star unit trust manager, over trading irregularities - a move which shook the industry.

But after discussions between Ms Horlick and the firm last Thursday she was suspended from her pounds 1 million-a-year job amid allegations that she was planning to move to a rival firm with her team of fund managers.

Mrs Horlick was in charge of Morgan Grenfell's pounds 18 billion UK pensions fund business. She was nicknamed "Superwoman" in City circles for her ability to juggle her job and the demands of her family of five children.

But the firm is now carrying out an internal investigation into alleged potential breaches of her contract.

She, meanwhile, could decide to hit back, having made it clear that she considers her suspension as constructive dismissal. She is seeking payment of a year's salary and the proceeds from a phantom share option scheme, together worth in excess of pounds 1m.