Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM) is screening a shortlist of candidates to replace two senior Australian small cap fund managers, whose recent departures forced Standard & Poor’s (S&P) to downgrade its ratings of CSAM Australian small cap funds.

“We’ve made it clear to the marketplace that we want to build our Australian equities capability – particularly in small caps,” Keith Ince, CSAM head of asset management, said. “;We do have a shortlist of people we’ve been talking to, and we’re working through it.”; While former CSAM Australian small cap manager Matthew Booker left the company on February 15, colleague Stephen Atkinson has confirmed he will leave in mid-March. “We’d been looking to add to our [Australian equities] team prior to Stephen’s departure,” Ince said. The CSAM Australian equities management team currently has seven members. S&P fund analyst Ben Sheehan said the ratings house was concerned about CSAM’s ability to attract and retain key staff, particularly since two senior Australian large cap managers, Rob Turner and David Spotswood, left the manager in early 2006. “S&P might have downgraded those funds, but it’s a ‘hold and wait and see’ categorisation. We understand their position,” Ince said.

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