Chris Darbyshire, chief investment officer of Seven Investment Management (7IM), has left the firm with immediate effect following disagreements over the company's future direction of strategy.
Chris Darbyshire has been CIO at 7IM since 2013 but left the firm last week after a disagreement on development plans for the firm going forward.
Justin Urquhart Stewart, co-founder and head of corporate development at 7IM, told Investment Week the company will place a focus on D2C business and be launching a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) next year.
He said: "We hope to do more work on direct to client business for intermediaries, and helping them manage smaller clients.
"This will be technology led and will enable firms to provide straightforward services to clients they may not be able to afford to manage themselves. We can because we have enough economies of scale."
Commenting on Darbyshire's departure he added: "Chris Darbyshire has been a pleasure to work with over the last five years. We thank him for his enormous contribution and wish him all the very best as he leaves to pursue new challenges.
"I have a lot of respect for him but like with any group of people, he had different views on our strategy so it felt natural for us to part ways.
"7IM has always had a team approach to fund management and our investment approach was built on process, structure and team, not individual managers."
Darbyshire joined the company in 2012 as a senior quantitative portfolio manager and was promoted to CIO in February 2013 to head up the firms 15-strong investment and research teams.
Prior to joining 7IM, he held roles on the derivatives team at Goldman Sachs and the equity research team at BNP Paribas.
He has been replaced in the interim by senior investment manager Ian Jensen-Humphreys, who he worked with closely.
The departure has also led the firm to create a new chief strategist role for former deputy CIO Alex Scott, who will work alongside Jensen-Humphreys and the new CIO as and when the role is rewritten, advertised and filled. This is expected to take "some months".
Urquhart Stewart added: "Reflecting the growth of the business, 7IM have now created a chief strategist role, working alongside the CIO. This is about evolution, not revolution - our assets under management have grown to the point where some roles need to be redesigned.
"Alex Scott is taking on the role of chief strategist, taking an active and supportive role in leading asset allocation and all portfolio management decisions.
"Alex has been at 7IM since the very beginning, moving over from Barclays with several of our co-founders."
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