A very merry Christmas for fund manager

Gartmore is set to join the stock market

Gartmore is set to join the stock market

Fund manager Gartmore plans a pre-Christmas stock market float, which could crystallise a paper fortune totalling more than £300million for its top 100 staff.

The firm, which is 58 per cent owned by U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, will be one of the first to join the stock market after a thawing of sentiment in the wake of the credit crisis.

A float looks set to value the equity of the business at up to £850million.

This could make a fortune for Gartmore's star fund manager Roger Guy, who runs several of the group's hedge funds. He is thought to own at least 10 per cent of the business, so his stake could be worth as much as £85million.

Staff will be allowed to sell around 20 per cent of their equity holding in the float.

H&F will also reduce its stake, but the primary aim is to reduce the group's £400million of debt to around £150million.

Gartmore, which has £21.8billion of assets under management, had tried to float in 2007 but this was scuppered by the market downturn.

Chief executive Jeff Meyer said it made sense to float early before a rush of other IPOs. 'First come, first served,' he said.

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