AIM's Williamson to Step Down

May 19, 2005 ( - AIM Investments Chief Executive Officer Mark Williamson, who once led Invesco Funds Group, has announced plans to leave his AIM post once the company finds a replacement.

The 53-year-old Williamson is leaving to spend more time with his wife and children, who live in Atlanta, and to “pursue personal interests,” spokesman Ivy McLemore told the Rocky Mountain News.

Williamson is the latest official to leave Houston-based AIM after the company and Invesco Funds settled allegations they allowed favored investors to market time their funds (See INVESCO, AIM Reach Market Timing Settlements ). The fund trading scandal, along with subpar investment performance, triggered large investor withdrawals from the company’s funds, the newspaper said. Williamson, who was CEO of now-defunct Invesco Funds Group from 1998 to 2002 and became the top official of AIM in early 2003, has shuttled between Atlanta and Houston.

The search for a replacement will not start in earnest until parent company Amvescap names a new CEO of its own – a move that could delay Williamson’s departure for several months, the News said.

AIM, which has about 300 employees in Denver, has lost a few top executives recently. Ed Larsen, AIM’s chief investment officer, went on a “voluntary leave of absence” late last year as he sought to resolve regulators’ inquiries related to the investigation into fund-trading practices. Larsen retired in December. Meanwhile, Mike Cemo, president of AIM Distributors, retired at the end of 2003.

Both AIM and Invesco agreed to pay about $450 million in penalties and fee cuts. Invesco reached a $325 million pact, while AIM agreed to pay $50 million to resolve the allegations that it, too, allowed market timing. The companies also promised to cut their fees by $75 million over five years.