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LGIM whistleblowing incident

29 Jul 2019

LGIM are now going through court proceedings on the whistleblowing incident that raised its head last year. We have sent them numerous follow-up emails asking for clear answers on this case, especially with the potential for reputational and other related risks that may impact our clients given there is a court case (with public interest and press commentary). Perhaps understandably, although frustratingly, they have now pulled back from giving us any direct answers to our questions because of the pending court case. As a firm, we like straight, non-copy/paste answers, and so the below response is challenging to us because it is generic and lacking in much needed detail. Although we doubt that anything material will come out of the court case, we remain slightly anxious now because of this email (noting that we have nothing specific worrying us; it is purely the lack of information that is the challenge).

Below is the full email we were sent which LGIM agreed we could send on:

The issue involves an employment tribunal case being brought by a former employee (Mr Omar Saeed) against LGIM and four individual named respondents (senior managers in the Fixed Income Team).  As you would expect from an organisation as large as Legal & General Group Plc. which employs circa 7,500 employees in the UK, we do occasionally face the situation where there are employment related disputes which result in an employment tribunal case.  This is the only one that LGIM is currently facing. 

Mr Saeed was the fund manager of both our Dynamic Bond Fund and SICAV strategy (Multi-Strategy Credit Fund). Mr Saeed resigned from LGIM with effect from 17 June 2019 following a period of leave from July 2018.  The funds that he managed have been taken over by Colin Reedie (Co-Head of Global Fixed Income), supported by an experienced and capable fund management team.   You will have seen from the press commentary on this matter that the allegations were made against a backdrop of concerns we had raised about Mr Saeed’s performance. 

Given the fact that this is an on-going litigious matter (with the final hearing scheduled to take place in November/December 2019), we don’t propose to comment on the specific allegations Mr Saeed has made in his claim, but we can confirm that we dispute the allegations and are defending the case robustly. We do not accept the allegations made as representative of LGIM’s culture.  I can assure you that LGIM has a positive, respectful, professional and client focused culture.  We are of course in close and regular contact with the FCA generally and they are fully aware of the employment tribunal claim. We operate a robust risk and compliance framework to ensure that we as a firm and our employees adhere to all FCA requirements, which are designed to safeguard our clients’ interests.

Just to re-iterate, I do hope you understand the sensitivity of our position at the current time and why we are unable to give detailed responses to your questions in the way that we would like to.

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