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GAM Holding Names New Chief Executive

Editorial Staff

9 January 2024

GAM Holding’s newly elected board of directors have named global chief risk officer Elmar Zumbuehl as its group chief executive with immediate effect. 

A Swiss citizen, Zumbuehl joined the Zurich-listed investment firm in 2010 and prior to this, worked at Julius Baer for 10 years in senior roles, including the bank’s asset management arm, of which was part at the time. 

GAM has been going through an uncertain period after a bid launched earlier this year by Liontrust Asset Management to buy it fell through. Late in September, one of the investor groups pushing to take over GAM Holding said it intends to provide the asset manager with a blend of short- and long-term funding up to an increased total of SFr100 million ($1.09 million). The funding announcement came from Rock Investment SAS ("Rock"), a member of the investor group NewGAMe – made up of Newgame SA and Bruellan SA – which controls about 9.6 per cent of GAM’s issued share capital.

“The appointment reinforces the corporate stability that is assured by the CHF 100 million funding commitment of our anchor shareholder Rock Investment SAS. Elmar has the right blend of experience and operational expertise, as well as an in-depth knowledge of GAM to lead the firm,” Antoine Spillmann, GAM’s chairman, said.

The story of GAM Holding’s corporate fate has been a tortuous one. After announcing that it was considering buying GAM in April this year, in August London-listed Liontrust Asset Management said it had not been able to secure sufficient shareholder approval for the bid. Liontrust’s takeover move for GAM, had been a contentious process, criticised by investors who challenged the price and logic of the deal. GAM has been battling to recover since Tim Haywood, who managed the ARBF business, was suspended in 2018 amid claims of misconduct (he was subsequently dismissed). Clients pulled money out of the firm. GAM was also hit by the selloff in global markets during 2022.