Wallara Asset Management, a long-time Australian equity manager for MLC, has lost a senior investment manager who’s understood to have also owned 15 per cent of the firm.

David Rosenbloom has resigned from the Melbourne-based stockpicker after 11 years, during which time he rose to become a director and significant equity holder.

Peter Wetherall, Wallara’s managing director and founder, said Rosenbloom resigned last Monday and was looking for a change.

“He’s not quite sure what that will be,” Wetherall said.

Wallara is 100 per cent owned by its staff, and it’s understood Rosenbloom has a 15 per cent stake in the company, although Wetherall declined to comment on the basis it would be “inappropriate”.

Rosenbloom will continue to work for Wallara for up to three months, allowing for a smooth transition to a successor, for which Wetherall said the firm was now searching.

Rosenbloom is Wallara’s oldest employee, after Wetherall who founded the company in 1995, and his departure was announced to Wallara’s clients last week.

Wallara has managed Australian shares for MLC since 2004, with these funds making up the bulk of Wallara’s $1.7 billion funds under management.

The independent boutique at one time managed close to $4 billion, but recent markets have been unkind to its growth-at-a-reasonable price philosophy. It’s Australian equities composite is fourth quartile on the Mercer performance surveys over the five years to December 31, returning 4.1 per cent before fees and tax against 4.5 per cent for S&P/ASX 200.

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