This week has been thankfully quiet by recent standards, making it possibly the worst time for an asset manager to make the headlines. Without warning GAM suspended one of its star bond managers and gated his funds, preventing investors from withdrawing their money. This was followed by a period of radio silence and then a confusing series of press releases. Even now, no one is quite sure what went on, with reports suggesting it has nothing to do with his investments. Investors are understandably annoyed and analysts are predicting a sizeable move away from the manager as a result. A reminder that even the most successful companies are only an overzealous HR department away from failure.
Elsewhere, primary elections in the US suggest the Republican Party is set for heavy losses in November’s midterm elections, as usually safe Republican districts have lurched towards the Democrats, in what is being described as a backlash against President Trump. While there are a number of potential causes, it appears the Trump effect might have been a one off and not the start of a longer-term shift in American politics.