Top fund managers exit stage left

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Credit Suisse Asset Management has seen several of its top staff saunter out of the door. They're not the only ones taking their talents elsewhere.

A survey last month by consultancy Kinetic Partners suggested traditional fund managers are still seeing an exodus of talent to rival hedge funds, with 43% of firms saying it was a problem.

"We're seeing a lot of individuals [from asset management firms] coming out and starting up their own hedge funds or private equity operations. Among a lot of the front office guys, there seems to be a desire to leave and set something up independently," says Michelle Carroll, of Kinetic Partners.

The fact that Credit Suisse's star fund managers (Robert Burdett, Gary Potter and Bill Mott) have departed, either to set up their own boutique operations or to go somewhere smaller instead, would seem to suggest Carroll's right.

But it's not all a one-way street, cautions Amanda Foster at search firm Russell Reynolds.

"The flow is not uni-directional, and in a number of cases - exacerbated by poor recent performance and/or difficulties in funding - we are observing interest in returning to larger multi-product platforms," she says.

Some fund management firms have also been working to make it harder for their top talent to jump ship. Foster says successful fund managers are being paid an increasingly large share for their performance.

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