ABN Amro Asset Management has responded to attempts to poach senior members of its Australian equity team by devising a new incentive structure, to which its star analysts have broadly agreed.

It is understood that senior members of ABN Amro AM’s team, including head of Australian equities George Clapham, and senior analyst Mark Nathan, had been receptive to overtures from would-be boutique backers over recent weeks, lured by the potential for greater rewards for their long outperformance track record (gross 24.4 per cent over five years to September 30, 2007 against 22.2 per cent for ASX 200). However, ABN Amro AM chief executive, Ian Manton-Hall, said yesterday from Hong Kong that discussions with the senior portfolio managers and analysts had borne fruit. “;We have been conscious for some time that [the Australian equities team] would have been an attractive target for a third party, given their success over the last few years,”; he said. “;As a result, we have been working with the team to set up a more appropriate structure to reflect their contribution to our business. We have recently agreed on the terms of this structure with the team and will finalise the arrangement shortly.”; Meanwhile, Manton-Hall said the global acquisition of ABN Amro AM by Fortis would create little disruption bar the possibility of more global product offerings in future. “;As there is no Fortis Investments in Australia, [the acquisition] should be quite straightforward and we expect business to continue as usual,”; he said.

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