November 6, 2018 / 6:46 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Swiss asset manager GAM's CEO quits after turmoil-fuelled outflows

(Adds details, comment from GAM chairman)

ZURICH, Nov 6 (Reuters) - GAM Holding Chief Executive Alexander Friedman resigned on Tuesday, the Swiss asset manager said, as the company seeks to reverse billions in asset outflows that came on the heels of the suspension of a top manager.

Board member David Jacob will become interim group CEO and a member of the group management board, GAM said in a statement. The new leadership will better enable the company to take action needed to support profitability and drive forward its strategy, it said.

GAM assets suffered a 17.7 billion Swiss franc ($17.6 billion) hit in the third quarter, as slumping markets hurt and as the suspension of absolute return bond fund (ARBF) director Tim Haywood during a misconduct investigation helped prompt investors to withdraw funds.

GAM has since become potential prey, with media reporting that it rebuffed an offer from Schroders Plc for its hedge fund unit.

As the Swiss company seeks to regain its footing, it said new leadership will help.

"The group is facing some important decisions as we seek to position the business for future growth," Chairman Hugh Scott-Barrett said. "David Jacob is the ideal person to lead the company, given both his detailed understanding of the group and his successful track record leading asset management businesses."

Jacob, on GAM's board since April 2017, was previously CEO of Rogge Global Partners Ltd. Between 2004 and 2013, he held a number of senior roles with Henderson Global Investors, including chief investment officer. ($1 = 1.0047 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Richard Pullin)

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