GMO has had its long stretch of fourth-quartile Australian equities performance compounded by another investment executive departure.
Olivia Engel has left GMO after eight years, during which she rose to become a senior portfolio manager for Australian equities, reporting to Geoff Wells since February 2010 and before that to Rick Suvak.
Engel will be stepping up to the role of head of active Australian equities at fellow quantitative manager, State Street Global Advisors (SSgA). She will report to Marc Reinganum, SSgA’s global head of active equities for developed markets, and colaborate with its head of investments for Asia-Pacific, Lochiel Crafter, and the manager’s Advanced Research Centre in Boston.
Engel will be replacing Anthony Golowenko, who is transitioning to the newly-created role of senior product engineer after more than eight years in the Active Australian Equity team. In his former role, Golowenko had responsibility for launching SSgA’s suite of active Australian equity long-short strategies, and more recently, the Australian Alpha Max Equity Total Return Trust. Golowenko will report to Jonathan Shead, the Asia Pacific Head of Product Engineering.
GMO’s CEO in Australia, Glen Howard, would not comment but confirmed a replacement for Engel had not yet been made.
In January, GMO lost Mark Thomson, a senior research analyst responsible for the dynamic weighting of quant signals in the manager’s long/short funds.
These have fared better than GMO’s flagship Australian equity trust, which is close to last over five years in Mercer’s Australian Equity performance survey. Joining it in the cellar is MIR Investment Management, a fellow deep value manager which has suffered high levels of staff turnover in recent times.