Jobs threat as Gartmore plans fund merger

JERSEY/LUXEMBOURG – Gartmore is planning to merge its Jersey and Luxembourg fund ranges, which could mean the closure of its Jersey office and the loss of up to 30 jobs.

The head of Jersey's financial commission said the move was disappointing.

Gartmore said in a statement that it plans to consolidate its Luxembourg and Jersey offshore fund ranges. The proposal would see its Jersey-based Gartmore Capital Strategy Fund merged into its Luxembourg-based SICAV.

The move, which would take place in a year, was prompted by “industry developments across Europe”. Jersey is not part of the European Union and is not covered by the directive on Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities, or UCITS.

“As a consequence of this proposal the Jersey office would close in 2005,” said a spokesman, adding the firm was “looking at opportunities” for the office’s 30 staff.

Gartmore said investors “would benefit from a larger pool of assets and more flexibility to invest in Gartmore’s expanded fund range across EU member states”.

“We are looking forward to developing firm proposals to put to our shareholders,” said Peter Pearson, chairman of the Gartmore Capital Strategy Fund. “In the meantime, it’s business as usual.”

"It's disappointing but not surprising given the lack of an EU "passport" for Jersey-based retail funds that would enable them to distributed in EU member states," said David Carse, director general of the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

"It points to the fact that Jersey's future as a funds centre rests with more institutional and specialist funds. This is something that we have acknowledged in the new regulatory regime for "expert" funds set out in the recently published Expert Fund Guide."

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