Invesco’s veteran head of Australian equities, Rohan Walsh, and senior portfolio manager Luke Sinclair resisted a dramatically increased offer from their employer after resigning on March 9, and will join Bell Asset Management.

Invesco chief executive, Mick O’Brien, confirmed the two letters of resignation prompted an “;alternative remuneration offer”; which the pair considered that weekend but finally turned down last Tuesday. Walsh and Sinclair left Invesco last Friday and will join David Slack at Bell Asset Management (BAM). Slack started in the newly created role of BAM chief executive officer on March 5, immediately after resigning as a director and investment committee chair for the Victorian Funds Management Corporation – for which Invesco continues to manage $1.5 billion. Slack and Walsh worked together in the 1980s at County Natwest Investment Management, for which Walsh rose to be head of Australian equities and Slack was a founding executive director. Invesco’s O’Brien wished to clarify incorrect media reports that he would become interim head of Australian equities – he will in fact chair a hastily-convened “;portfolio management group”; while the manager seeks to “;rebuild its capability in the asset class”;. David Slack said on Friday that an announcement from BAM had been delayed by a week. He refused to confirm or deny whether Walsh and Sinclair would be working for him. For the full story on the Walsh/Sinclair defection, including what VFMC chief investment officer Leo De Bever thinks of Slack’s action in resigning from the VFMC board then immediately poaching key staff from its fifth-largest Australian equity manager, see the April 2007 edition of Investment & Technology magazine – out March 30.

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