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Douglass takes leave of absence as Magellan reports $2bn FUM loss

4 minute read

Magellan Financial Group confirmed on Monday that Hamish Douglass is taking a leave of absence, while in a separate statement detailing its $2 billion loss in funds under management clocked at the end of last month. 

Hamish Douglass is taking a leave of absence from his roles as chairman and chief investment officer after a period of intense pressure and focus on both his professional and personal life, Magellan said in an ASX filing on Monday. 

The funds management giant expressed its "wholehearted" support for Mr Douglass who is said to be taking the time to focus on his health. 

"The board wholeheartedly supports Hamish’s decision to prioritise his health and Magellan is committed to providing him the time and support he requires," Magellan’s chairman, Hamish McLennan, stated.


In his absence, Chris Mackay will oversee the portfolio management of Magellan’s global equity retail funds and global equity institutional mandate. Mr Mackay was Magellan’s inaugural chairman and was Magellan’s chief investment officer from inception in 2006 to 2012. 

Magellan also confirmed the return of Nikki Thomas as a co-portfolio manager of Magellan’s global equity strategies, alongside changes to its structure and governance arrangements including the appointment of Hamish McLennan as independent non-executive chairman in place of Mr Douglass and Robert Fraser as deputy chairman of Magellan in place of Mr McLennan.

The board is said to be continuing its search process to appoint an additional independent director of Magellan.

FUM down by nearly $2 billion

Just minutes before confirming Mr Douglass' temporary departure, Magellan issued a filing with the ASX detailing its funds under management as at 31 January.

According to the report, FUM slid significantly to $93.5 billion from $95.5 billion in January last year on the back of poor performance by global equities. 

Namely, global equities lost over $2 billion, dropping to $62.3 billion from $64.9 billion.

Last year, Magellan lost its biggest client in UK wealth group St James’s Place. In December, the firm confirmed that the St James’s Place mandate represented approximately 12 per cent of its annual revenue and was expected to have a 6 per cent impact on revenue for the 2022 financial year.

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.