By Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) - Richard Buxton, who led a management buyout of Merian Global Investors from Old Mutual as part of the insurer's break-up is to step down as chief executive, the asset manager said on Tuesday.
Buxton will be replaced by Mark Gregory, currently a non-executive director of Merian and previously chief financial officer at Legal & General <LGEN.L>. Buxton will remain head of UK equities and manager of Merian's UK Alpha Fund, it said.
One of Britain's best-known fund managers, Buxton and members of the management team agreed to buy part of Old Mutual's UK fund business for 600 million pounds, backed by private equity firm TA Associates.
After leading the completion of the deal in June 2018 and subsequent rebranding of the group, Buxton said it was the right time to hand over the reins. Although he is stepping down as an executive, he will remain on the board as a major shareholder.
"My passion for investment is as strong as ever and I think there are some great opportunities in UK equities today," Buxton said. "I look forward to delivering long-term returns for our clients for many years to come."
Gregory, whose appointment remains subject to regulatory approval, is also a non-executive director at Direct Line Insurance Group and was previously at consultants PwC.
The break-up of Old Mutual saw it sell its stake in its U.S. asset management arm and create a separate listing for the remainder of its UK business as Quilter <QLT.L> with its South Africa-focused business listed as Old Mutual Ltd.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Huw Jones and Edmund Blair)