April 17, 2019 / 5:53 AM / a month ago

Net outflows continue at Swiss asset manager GAM

ZURICH, April 17 (Reuters) - GAM Holding AG continued to see clients withdraw money at the start of 2019, the embattled Swiss asset manager said on Wednesday, adding it expected to wrap up soon the liquidation of funds linked to a sacked senior money manager.

Net outflows totalled 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($2.09 billion) in the first three months of the year, the Zurich-based company said, while total assets under management rose to 137.4 billion francs from 132.2 billion francs at the end of 2018.

The company's investment management business saw 4 billion francs of outflows, partially offset by inflows of 1.9 billion francs into its private labelling business.

GAM had a torrid 2018 after being forced to write down the value of acquisition of UK hedge fund Cantab and close several funds after a top money manager was suspended for alleged breaches of its rules.

It later sacked manager Tim Haywood, who has vowed to clear his name.

GAM shares lost three quarters of their value last year and have fallen 9 percent this year.

GAM expected to complete the liquidation of unconstrained/absolute return (ARBF) funds by the middle of July.

"Following the recent sale of two material assets, a further ARBF distribution will take place over the next two weeks resulting in 89–95 percent of the onshore and 80–84 percent of the offshore funds' assets being returned to clients, GAM said.

The asset manager also said its restructuring and cost-cutting plan was on track. It aims to save 40 million francs by the end of the year.

It reiterated its first-half performance would be materially below the first half of 2018. ($1 = 1.0068 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)

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