US/IRELAND - Pioneer Investments has been forced to confirm nine people have resigned from its fund of hedge funds team but the firm is seeking to reassure clients it is business as usual.

A statement just issued by the Dublin-based asset management firm confirmed the company has lost nine people from its Pioneer Alternative Investments division, including senior investment players Mark Barker and Greg Knott from the London office.

The other individuals were analysts and junior members of the team, according to a spokeswoman at Pioneer, though she declined to comment any further on their moves.

Pioneer said the loss to its fund of hedge funds division will have no impact on the investment portfolios as officials argue its management strategies means "the departure of several people from such a large investment team does not compromise the investment activity" and the firm is now made up of 30 people.

"It is in the nature of the way PAI manages FOHF strategies that long-term strategic positions are taken in the underlying managers and funds," said Pioneer in a statement.

"PAI is confident that the contingency plans and the strength and depth of assembled talent is more than adequate to carry out day-to-day responsibilities.

Pioneer created its fund of hedge funds team six years ago from a base of just five individuals, and now manages over $8bn (€10bn) in assets under management.

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