US - The $4.4bn Wyoming Retirement System has put Offitbank on watch as a result of the departure of Morris Offit as chief executive of the firm.
Gerald Fox, director at the Cheyenne based fund, said that it is reviewing its arrangements with the Wachovia owned asset and wealth management firm in the light of Offit's departure. Offitbank currently runs a $200m high yield bond mandate for the fund.
Fox was quick to add that although the fund has concerns about the departure of several key Offitbank staff, he believes that Offitbank will be retained. The fund's board will meet on November 16 to decide what action it will take.
In addition to losing Offit last month, the New York based fund manager lost three other key personnel recently. Stephen Shapiro, Offitbank's co-founder and managing director, left the firm to join Satellite Asset Management as a principal Sept. 1.
In August, rival asset manager Neuberger Berman hired two Offitbank managing directors to head up its wealth management operations. Stephen Brent Wells and Ralph Sinsheimer were hired as chief operating officer and senior vice president respectively.
Offitbank was formed in 1983 and converted into a trust bank in 1990. Wachovia bought Offitbank for $200m in September 1999. Currently, the firm has $17.1bn in assets under management.
By Geoffrey Ho
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