FUNDS manager Perpetual has ended more than six months of speculation by confirming that John Sevior, its highly rated equities chief, will not be returning from extended leave.
Mr Sevior, who has had a 17-year career with Perpetual, much of it as head of the equities investment team, is expected to launch his own fund next year.
The loss of its star stock picker is likely to see superannuation funds pull more funds from Perpetual.
It experienced a net outflow of $1.2 billion from Australian equity funds during the September quarter after the announcement that Mr Sevior was going on extended leave.
Matt Williams will now take over as head of the equities investment team, with Charlie Lanchester becoming deputy head. Mr Williams has been filling in for Mr Sevior since he took leave in July.
Mr Sevior's style was regarded as unusual for a funds manager, given that he built up large exposures in single companies. This paid off in recent years with many of his investments subject to takeover bids.
Analysts said Mr Sevior's exit came as little surprise as he had previously given himself only a "50-50 chance" of returning from his six-month break.
Mr Sevior is reportedly looking to start a new fund backed by Treasury Group.