The well-known deputy managing director of MIR Investment Management has stepped down, while integration of the Asian and Australian qualitative research teams and a new dealer services relationship have seen the boutique trim numbers, but in a way that positions the firm to “take advantage of opportunities” according to boss Michael Triguboff.

Marian Carr joined MIR in 2006 from the Harwood Superannuation Fund, where she had been chief investment officer. Her role at MIR had been more focused on running the business than on investments, as well as pursuing new business opportunities. Triguboff said Carr had expressed her wish to seek some company director appointments, however she will remain a consultant to MIR.

Carr will not be replaced directly, with Triguboff saying that MIR would concentrate on its existing business for the time being.

Meanwhile, MIR is integrating its Asian and Australian qualitative research teams, under the leadership of Singapore-based Kenny Tjan. Triguboff said this would streamline and improve MIR’s process, because “increasingly Australia’s future is dependent on Asia”.  Derek Ovington will remain head of the Sydney-based Australian ‘qual’ team,  however he will now report to Tjan. A reallocation of responsibilities around the integration led to one analyst departing MIR.

MIR has also struck a dealer services relationship with ITG Securities, which Triguboff said would avail MIR of “dark pool” and off-market crossing opportunities. Under the contract, a dedicated dealer from ITG will be based on MIR’s premises, and as a result one of MIR’s two existing dealers will depart the firm.

The relationship essentially sees ITG become MIR’s “broker of choice” and perform all Australian equities dealing on its behalf using “all the technologies available”, according to ITG’s head of sales and trading in Australia, Michael Corcoran.

Under a commission-sharing arrangement, ITG will capture revenue directly related to execution of MIR trades, while the manager will receive credits for research which it will distribute to the broking houses from which it receives the insights.

“What MIR have done is unbundle research and execution, which will ensure they get the best of breed in both,” Corcoran said, adding it was the first such unbundling arrangement that ITG had struck with an Australian funds manager.

Triguboff said MIR’s sell-side partners had been alerted to the measure, and that the manager intended to maintain its existing broking relationships.

A quantitative analyst and “great code cutter”, Keith Howie, who’d worked on implementing the ITG trading platform and MIR’s interface with the Charles River front office system, has now finished his contract with the firm, Triguboff added.

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