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Hermes to sell EFM stake?

Hermes is considering the sale of its 29.3 per cent shareholding in Edinburgh Fund Managers. The decision follows the resignation of Hermes chief executive officer, Tony Watson from the board of Edinburgh Fund Managers. A statement from the group revealed Watson’s resignation was a result of disagreements with the rest of the board over the strategic policy and direction of the EFM.

Watson said: “We will seriously consider any offers made for our holding in EFM.” He added that the decision was in no way related to EFM’s private equity activities. Venture capital firm, Northern Venture Managers has been part of EFM since June 2000.

EFM has been suffering in the current climate with funds under management plunging a third to GBP4.7 billion in the first half. The group has also been hit by the loss of its biggest client, the GBP1.1 billion Edinburgh Investment Trust mandate.