UK – The chief executive of Invesco’s UK institutional business, Sarah Bates, is to leave the firm following a “realignment” of its operations.

The departure follows a slump in profits. Invesco UK’s operating profits in the first quarter fell 1.2 million pounds (1.7 million euros) – down from 10.5 million pounds (15.2 million euros) in the 2002 period.

The 17-year Invesco veteran has had a number of top jobs at Invesco, including chief investment officer. The company manages around 6.5 billion euros in European pension fund assets.

Bates’ departure is part of what the firm called a “realignment” along business lines: investment, distribution and operation. CIO Bob Yerbury remains in his post. Mike Webb will head UK distribution – in charge of retail sales, institutional sales, business development and marketing and client services. Operations remain under chief operating officer Anthony Myers.

Under Webb, Graeme Proudfoot will head institutional sales. He was formerly deputy CEO of the business. Andrew Williams joins from AIM Trimark to head retail sales.

Angus Woolhouse will head marketing and product management while Jane Blatchford will lead key account management.

Webb said: “The strategy of both businesses - institutional and retail - remains unchanged as are the day-to-day contacts for our clients in each area."

"This reorganisation will ensure that there will be as little duplication of activity as possible across our business and that our primary focus centres more clearly around our client needs and our ability to deliver for them," said Rob Hain, chief executive of Invesco UK.

Invesco is part of Amvescap, whose first-quarter results in April showed that pre-tax profits fell 50% on the prior year quarter - hit by falling stock markets.