Gartmore Global Partners, the joint venture between NationsBank Corp. and a British asset manager, has undergone some fine-tuning.
The Charlotte, N.C., banking company and Gartmore Investment Management, London, hammered out a new five-year plan at the end of April that puts more capital and resources into the partnership, said Christopher Russell, a Gartmore Investment director and head of overseas businesses.
Gartmore Global Partners will soon open an office in New York that will concentrate on business development, Mr. Russell said. The company already has an office in Charlotte.
Established in 1995, Gartmore Global Partners is an equal partnership between NationsBank and Gartmore. However, the alliance went through a rocky patch last year with the departure of four senior executives.
Before the April renegotiation, "it was two partners effectively subscribing their own people," Mr. Russell said. But now, he said, Gartmore Global is again building staff in its own right.
Richard Hoag, formerly with Bankers Trust Corp., will join Gartmore Global in New York July 27 as a managing director responsible for business development in the United States. Mr. Russell said the firm will eventually add another person in New York.
Meanwhile, Stephen Watson, formerly with Gartmore Investment Management, recently joined the alliance full-time as its chief investment officer.
Mr. Russell said that the original principles behind the joint venture remain intact, but noted that there are some changes.
Gartmore Investment gets a U.S. distributor for its products and NationsBank gets to offer international investment fare to its customers, as before. Also, Gartmore Global continues to act as subadviser to international funds offered by NationsBank, such as the Nations Pacific Equity Fund and the Nations Emerging Market Equity Fund, he said.
However, Mr. Russell noted that Gartmore Global can now go outside NationsBanc Investment Advisors to distribute investment products in the United States. "We could ask Charles Schwab directly," he said.
According to Mr. Russell, there are a number of institutional and retail investment products Gartmore Investment would like to introduce in the United States through the NationsBank partnership.
One is the European equity product that Gartmore Investment Management already distributes in Europe and Asia in a venture with Citibank, he said. Another is a currency overlay product designed for large plan sponsors who have products denominated in multiple currencies. The institutional product "overlays," or neutralizes, currency risk, Mr. Russell said.
Mr. Hoag said he will seek out insurers and broker-dealers, as well as other banks to distribute Gartmore Global's products. However, according to Mr. Russell, NationsBank will continue to be Gartmore's "No. 1 client" in the United States.
Gartmore Global currently manages roughly $1.8 billion.