A clash of personalities led to Celexa Real Estate Investment Management UK chief executive Philip Ingman being "asked to leave" after the firm was taken over by Aberdeen Property Investors. And property insiders believe he may not be the last.
API - the property asset management arm of Aberdeen Asset Management - is understood to be close to a deal with Rreef. And while Rreef managing director David Hunter is poised to be API chief executive Iain Reid’s number two, sources say the two are “like oil and water”.
Reid said: “We could have offered Phillip another role in the company but there wasn’t anything suitable to his experience and talents.
“I regard him as a friend. I’ve known him for years and I would love to have him in the company - but you cannot just fill up the company with people because you like them.”
But Ingman - who has been with Celexa since it launched in 1998 - said: “I was never offered a position by Iain Reid or Aberdeen – I was told I had to go on the day the agreement was signed - I was simply told there was already a managing director and they didn’t need another one. I always knew this was a possibility but it did happen a little quicker than I was expecting.”
Swedish fund manager Alecta Investment Management – which sold Celexa to AAM – has installed UK general manager Will Anderson as the acting managing director until AAM take over its ownership on May 2.
Anderson said: “In acquisitions of this kind where Celexa is being absorbed into Aberdeen’s business, the position of chief executive is somewhat exposed – they can’t be room for two chief executives in one company.”
He added that the duplication of roles simply meant that his services were no longer required.One property insider, though, believes the Ingman scenario could be repeated with Hunter once the deal with Rreef goes ahead.
He said: “Reid and Hunter are like oil and water - they are like a timebomb waiting to go off. There will inevitably be a power struggle between the two and we could well see a similar outcome from the clash between Reid and Ingman.”
By James Wallace and Michael Schiniou
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
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