Gartmore develops PE business

Asset management group Gartmore is set to build its private equity business with the appointment of Nick Shaw, previously deputy chief investment officer for Shell Pension Management Services. At Gartmore he takes on the role of deputy managing director private equity. He joins managing director Peter Gale, who now heads a ten-strong private equity team.

Gartmore will seek mandates from institutions, most likely pension funds, to manage discrete private equity portfolios on their behalf. A fund-of-funds product could also be a possibility in the long-term.

Mark Robertshaw, chief financial officer at Gartmore, says: “We have undertaken a strategic review of the investment market and have concluded that a major growth opportunity exists within the private equity business. We are planning to launch our offering to clients in the early part of 2004 as we already have a number of parties who have indicated that they are interested in working with us on private equity products.”

Gartmore’s existing private equity portfolio was initiated some ten years ago. The allocation, from a single pension fund client, increased in the mid 1990s and now stands at £600m, invested mainly in European buyout funds. New mandates are unlikely to match this size and Shaw says they could come from smaller institutions and those that are new to the asset class. He expects portfolios to be heavily weighted towards buyouts in Europe.

Shaw spent 17 years at Shell, which has assets of over £11bn under management. He was responsible for the management of its £520m private equity programme, which he established in 1993.