Axa Rosenberg Investment Management no longer has a dedicated Australian sales presence, after a senior institutional salesman and two client reporting staff were let go in recent days, however its new local overseer says the troubled quant manager is on the verge of winning mandates here again.

Ian Webber, who joined the quantitative global equities manager three and a half years ago as head of sales and marketing for Australia and New Zealand, departed two weeks ago.

His responsibilities will now be taken over by Craig Hurt, the Australia/NZ director for Axa Investment Managers, the fellow wholly-owned Axa subsidiary which also offer a qualitative global equities capability in Australia (Framlington), as well as private equity, real estate, hedge fund-of-funds and infrastructure products.

Hurt said having one person oversee all of those capabilities for each territory was the normal operating practice for Axa IM around the world.

The Sydney-based investment specialist for Axa Rosenberg, Kathryn McDonald, will be retained in her role communicating with retail ratings agencies and asset consultants.

Webber’s departure follows a significant fall in funds under management for Axa Rosenberg IM, and yesterday overseas wires reported the parent company had set aside 64 million euros to cover possible compensation claims, stemming from a coding error which disrupted the manager’s process in 2009.

The coding mistake was rectified but its existence then covered up for months. When the cover-up came to light, several executives left the firm, sensationally including founder Barr Rosenberg.

Axa has since purchased the 25 per cent of Axa Rosenberg IM owned by current and previous management, and Hurt said that Australian institutions stood ready to invest in its process again.



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