Analysts reacted with surprise to the announcement that Peter Bain is resigning as president, CEO and director of OM Asset Management, effective Friday. Mr. Bain had served in these positions since 2011.
Following news of the departure, Robert Lee, a managing director and equity analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, said in a note to investors that the "news is certainly surprising to us given our impression that (Mr.) Bain was fully engaged in the business, and now that Old Mutual PLC has substantially exited their position, was looking forward to moving the company forward."
James J. Ritchie, chairman of OMAM, will serve as executive chairman and interim CEO while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement, an OMAM news release said.
"Peter has successfully accomplished his mission," Mr. Ritchie said in the news release. "He has delivered on his mandates to reshape the business, develop the leadership team and achieve the company's listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which has enabled Old Mutual PLC to substantially achieve its stated objective of exiting its ownership of the business."
Mr. Bain added in the news release: "I am very proud of what we've achieved over the last six years. We restructured the business to focus on affiliates with high growth potential, became a public company, completed a successful new affiliate acquisition and executed the sell-down process for Old Mutual PLC. I am happy to hand over the business in good shape."
OMAM spokesman Ted Smith declined to comment beyond what was in the news release.
Andrew Disdier, vice president, equity research at Sandler O'Neill + Partners, also expressed surprise at this "abrupt departure" in a note to investors, adding that although he expects the stock to "underperform its asset manager peer group," the fact that OMAM's executive vice president and CFO, Steve Belgrad, is still with the firm "mitigates some risk."
OMAM had $249.7 billion in assets under management as of March 31.