MLIM's Galley Addresses Manager Removal

November 9, 2001 ( - Carol Galley, COO of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), gave Unilever Superannuation Fund (USF) trustees a different reason for replacing Alistair Lennard, the manager dubbed a "wild card" by USF lawyers, than she gave Lennard himself.

Lennard was responsible for managing a £600 million equity portfolio, part of the USF’s £1 pension mandate at the center of a landmark negligence suit against MYLIM, formerly Mercury Asset Management, currently being heard in a UK High Court.

On the fourth day of Galley’s cross-examination, it emerged that Galley informed Wendy Mayall, the fund’s CIO, in May 1997 that she planned to replace Lennard following the resignation of John Richards, Lennard’s team leader. She said that the two had been “very close”.

But, according to Lennard’s witness statement, Galley had told Lennard that “it would be better for the relationship between Mercury and Unilever if a new manager was appointed”. Until then, Lennard had been unaware of the plan to remove him from the account.

“The suggestion that you were removing Mr Lennard because he was so close to Mr Richards, who had gone, is just nonsense is it not?” the lawyer for Unilever asked. Galley countered, saying, “I did not feel that I should tell Mr Lennard . . . every detail.”

Earlier in the trial, Galley had testified that she had only told USF trustees that Lennard was managing the UK equities portfolio two years after he was given the job.

 – Camilla Klein                 

Read our previous articles about this landmark case at  Unilever Case .