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Swiss group GAM steps up cost cuts as assets slump

Logo of GAM investment management company is seen in Zurich

ZURICH (Reuters) - GAM Holding will accelerate its cost-cutting measures, the Swiss asset manager said on Wednesday, after it posted a first-half loss as its assets under management plunged in tough markets.

GAM had a net loss of 275.2 million Swiss francs ($288 million) under IFRS accounting standards after booking a non-cash impairment charge of 263.6 million francs related to intangible brand value created by the acquisition of GAM by Julius Baer in 2005.

Last month, the asset manager forecast a loss, given its total assets under management fell to 83.2 billion francs at the end of June, from 99.9 billion at the end of 2021.

GAM said total expenses for 2022 would fall around 20 million francs from year-ago levels. In the first half, expenses dropped to 109.5 million from 120.6 million last year.

"In addition, we expect a further reduction in total expenses of at least 20 million for the full year 2023. Cost reductions will be delivered primarily through an acceleration of our efficiency plans," it said.

GAM appointed Sally Orton as chief financial officer, effective immediately. Orton, the deputy CFO of the Swiss company, will replace Richard McNamara after he leaves the group towards the end of the year.

GAM shares have dropped by nearly a quarter this year, reducing its market worth to around 166 million francs.

($1 = 0.9553 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)