The former head of Australian equities at BT, Marcus Fanning, has been approached by Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFS GAM) to fill the vacancy left by Simon Shields.

Fanning, who for the past five years has been head of global capital markets for Morgan Stanley Australia, resigned from BT in late 2002 after a tumultuous 18-month tenure during which Westpac bought the manager. Speaking yesterday, Fanning did not deny having talks with CFS, but would not comment specifically on the matter. “;I’ve had a number of approaches from different outfits over the past year, so people are just speculating,”; he said. Fanning said he would “;never rule out”; a return to funds management. “;I do enjoy the investing side, but I’ve also had great experiences [in investment banking]…I’m doing this job at the moment,”; he said. It is understood Fanning is weighing up an offer from CFS as well considering starting his own business. The chief investment officer at CFS GAM, David Dixon, has been temporarily overseeing the manager’s Australian equity portfolios while a replacement is sought for Shields, who left for UBS Global Asset Management in May. CFS GAM would not comment on the replacement for Shields yesterday, only to say “;announcements will be made in the near future”;.

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