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NZ Carmel Fisher swings the axe at Tower

Property Here - Monday, April 22, 2013

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Former Tower investment head Sam Stubbs - in the garden for six months. Photo / APN
Former Tower investment head Sam Stubbs - in the garden for six months. Photo / APN

Fisher Funds boss Carmel Fisher has swung the axe on Tower's investment business just three weeks after taking it over.

Fisher made 15 staff redundant on Friday including Tower's Australasian equities and fixed interest teams.

Tower investment boss Sam Stubbs has been placed on six months gardening leave - a move which stops him from working anywhere else in the industry until that time lapses.

Fisher said the redundancies left 20 staff in Auckland and a further 25 in Wellington from the Tower investment business.

Fisher said she had retained the property investment team, which is headed up by Brent Buchanan but had let the Australasian equities and fixed interest teams go as well as compliance and middle office staff.

"Their roles were directly duplicated."

Fisher said the redundancies had come at a cost but would not say how much that was.

"We have met all the terms and conditions of the contracts. We were aware before we made the purchase what those costs would be."

Fisher said the staff had not been surprised by the changes and many had been grateful that the decision had been made quickly.

"We told the team from day one we would make a quick decision because there is no value to be sitting there with half a job or quarter of a job to do."

Those made redundant were not required to work out their notice periods and were allowed to find work elsewhere in the industry without any delay, she said.

Fisher said the changes meant Tower's Australasian equities and fixed interest portfolios would now be managed by her own team who would be sticking to the mandates of the those funds.

There were around "half a dozen" stock investments which differed between the teams which could be changed over time.

"But we are not in a hurry to do that."

Fisher said Tower's investment clients would still ring through to the same call centre team as before and only those with a personal relationship with the investment managers would notice a difference.

Fisher purchased the Tower investment business for $79 million in February and the deal went unconditional on April 2.