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Interesting reaction to departure

Friday, July 28th 2006, 8:17AM

by Philip Macalister

I predicted back in April that there was likely to be a few changes with the management at ING and that their style would change a little.

Well I feel I can say, this week, that I was right.

As reported by Good Returns this week ING's chief investment officer, Rebecca Thomas, has resigned. We also understand that Mark Ford, the general manager of the wholesale business, has recently left the company too.


What has surprised me somewhat is the reaction to Thomas's departure.

Good Returns approached ING on Wednesday about the story and they confirmed what we had been told the day before, plus clarified a rumour going round the market that all the investment team had packed their bags. (They are still there).

However, at the end of the day an email came through with some interesting comments. Normally when someone like this leaves the reaction is something like: "Thanks for all the good work you've done, sad to see you leave and best of luck. We have good systems and processes in place so investors won't be affected. Blah, blah."

Not this week though.

You can read the full release here - and make your own view. The comments which struck me was this:

"We were one of New Zealand's leading investment managers long before Rebecca's arrival, and will continue to be well after she's gone."

Maybe ING were just trying to play the departure down and over did it. I don't know. But I can say after years of observing these sort of events this was different.

And of course we don't like it when a company gives a story we have got to other publishers...but that will be the subject of another Blog in the future!


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