The Business On... Guillaume Rambourg, Hedge fund manager
Thursday 06 October 2011
So, Rambo is back?
Yes, the former supertrader has resurfaced following his departure from Gartmore last year, with the aim of setting up a Paris-based hedge fund. He's been busily hiring traders such as Karim Moussalem, previously head of the Delta One trading unit for one Goldman Sachs. He's also taken on former Gartmore colleague Tomas Pinto for his Verrazzano Capital.
Paris rather than Switzerland?
Well, one of the reasons the entire London hedge fund industry hasn't decamped there already is because Switzerland is kind of, ahem, dull. OK, the skiing is great, but if you're no lover of the slopes there isn't much on offer compared to Europe's premier league capitals. Not that London was ever going to be a runner.
The 50 per cent rate of tax again?
It's more that one imagines Mr Rambourg has had his fill of the City. While he and former colleague Roger Guy weren't exactly the entire business at Gartmore, the two of them together did at one time look after £8.1bn, more than a third of its assets. But Gartmore suspended him in March 2010 (prompting its shares to fall by a third).
The Financial Services Authority launched an investigation into whether Mr Rambourg had improperly placed buy and sell orders with favoured brokers. Mr Rambourg was cleared, but though he did return to Gartmore the writing was on the wall. He left, then Mr Guy left and Gartmore left the stock exchange, being gobbled up by rival Henderson for a song.
So, this is a comeback? Will he hit the big time?
Well, it's fair to say that Mr Guy was the star name who was most widely followed at Gartmore, but you don't bring £8.1bn in without being a decent fund manager. That said lots of big names have started hedge funds in the past, and lots have failed. What's more, while Paris may provide a more friendly clime for Mr Rambourg than London, the regulatory net is tightening on hedge funds across the EU, making it tougher to do business. With several established operators struggling, the jury is out.
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