UK - Hermes Fund Managers has "amicably" parted company with its chief executive Rupert Clarke after three years, naming its head of investment as interim chief executive.

Clarke was named head of Hermes in December 2007, having previously spent four years as chief executive of Hermes Real Estate Investment Management. 

His departure from the property subsidiary left it without a permanent head for more than two years, with Chris Taylor assuming the role late last year.

Head of investments Saker Nusseibeh has been named acting chief executive, pending an external search for a permanent replacement, Hermes said.

A spokeswoman at the company stressed that Clarke's departure was "amicable", with chairman Paul Spencer singing his praises for having steered Hermes through the introduction of a major investment programme.

Nusseibeh reiterated this point, praising Clarke as "absolutely well-placed" to oversee what he deemed the company's "building phase".

"With the business becoming more outward facing, this is a very logical next step in our evolution.

"We want the market to recognise us as a growing investment manager with a diverse range of successful investment boutiques across equities, fixed income and the alternatives space."

He further told IPE: "We now come to a stage where, given our strong performance numbers - given all that's been built - we need to go forward and start seriously raising assets from third parties and acting like a third-party asset manager."

He said the decision to install him has interim chief executive - rather than wait until a permanent replacement had been agreed upon - was driven by wishes from the board of trustees and the management board to act on these plans as soon as possible.

"Because I am here and because I am willing and able to take on the burden, it allows us to do this transition now, rather than having to go through the subterfuge of waiting a few months while we look at our options," he said.

Nusseibeh joined Hermes in the summer of 2009, having spent nearly four years at Fortis Investments as both head of equities and chief investment officer for global equities.

In the past, he has worked at Mercury Asset Management and was a managing director at TCW Group when Société Générale acquired a controlling interest.

Hermes has seen significant turnover in the past few years, with several hundred new members brought in to counteract a comparable number of staff departures.