LONDON - Two more top portfolio managers have left Baring Asset Management, while senior management has reshuffled key job responsibilities at the firm.
Richard Chenevix-Trent, formerly head of Baring's highly regarded emerging markets team, will join Sloane Robinson Investment Management Ltd., a London-based money management boutique in January. Richard Bronk, head of Baring's continental European equity team, left the firm to write a book.
The staff departures are the latest blows to Baring, whose U.K. pension client base is still suffering losses. The latest departures are leading some consultants to take a closer look at the manager, whose parent was acquired by ING Bank earlier this year.
Mr. Chenevix-Trent will join Sloane Robinson as a partner to develop the firm's emerging markets products, explained George Robinson, partner.
Sloane Robinson was started two years ago by Hugh Sloane, formerly, chief investment officer at GT Management PLC and Mr. Robinson, formerly director of research at W.I. Carr. Stephen Pearson, a third partner, joined the firm last year from GT to oversee the firm's European investments.
The firm has $280 million in assets under management, invested in Europe and Asia.
Neither Mr. Bronk nor Mr. Chenevix-Trent could be reached for comment.
Succeeding Mr. Bronk is Mark Pignatelli, a member of the European equities team. Replacing Mr. Chenevix-Trent is Nancy Curtin, an Eastern European specialist.
Baring also has rejiggered its institutional teams.
The firm named Nicholas Sykes as head of U.K. equities, replacing Andrew Parry who left the firm several months ago to become chief investment officer at Lazard Brothers Asset Management, London. Mr. Sykes had been head of the U.K. institutional business and is now returning to the stock selection area.
Taking over Mr. Sykes' position is Mark Archer, who previously was a member of the U.K. team.
Also, Kathryn Matthews has taken responsibility for the firm's international clients. She previously was in charge of European clients only, although she also was a director of the firm's North American business.
The shifting among the firm's top institutional managers already had been in the works, explained Peter Hartley, an executive director in charge of Baring's North American and Indian business.
Baring is continuing to suffer erosion of its U.K. pension business. However, the firm has been receiving additional cashflows from its U.S. clients and has been winning new business in Asia and continental Europe, Mr. Hartley said.
Baring's U.K. balanced business has been hit with weak performance during the past two years, primarily because of underperformance in equities. Weaker performance, on top of the acquisition by ING earlier this year, led clients to review the firm, Mr. Hartley said.
Mr. Archer said a number of steps have been taken to improve the U.K. stock portfolio, by focusing more on quality of earnings, making portfolio construction more flexible, and streamlining the decision-making process.
Elsewhere, Mr. Hartley said performance has been strong. The firm ranks in the top quartile of the Frank Russell universe of international managers in the third quarter, and is right at the 25% mark for the year to date, he said. Baring also ranks in the second quartile for the one- and three-year periods in the Russell universe, and in the top quartile for the two-year period, he said.