The GAM investor group composed by NewGAMe and Bruellan has changed its candidate for the asset manager's CEO a day before shareholders are set to vote on the new boss.

The NewGAMe shareholder group had previously put forward Randel ‘Randy' Freeman for the role but announced on Tuesday (26 September) that Freeman has had to pull out of the race "due to unforeseen family circumstances".

The group is now backing GAM's chief risk officer Elmar Zumbuehl for the role, noting he had already "accepted the opportunity to work with the new board as CEO of GAM".

Zumbuehl  joined GAM in 2010 and is a member of the Group Management Board. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Julius Baer's asset management business, which GAM was part of at the time, for ten years.

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Shareholders will decide on the fate of the candidates at an extraordinary general meeting today (27 September). 

The entirety of GAM's board, including its former CEO, stepped down after the takeover deal from Liontrust fell apart in August, with only 33.5% of the votes cast in favour of the bid.  

The NewGAMe cohort, which controls approximately 9.6% of the issued share capital of GAM, was decidedly against Liontrust's proposal. 

Antoine Spillmann, CEO and partner at Bruellan and proposed candidate for chair of GAM, said he was "thrilled" Zumbuehl had stepped into the race. 

He said he has the "right blend of experience and operational expertise", as well as an "in-depth knowledge of GAM" to stabilise the company and take it forward.

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"Elmar is well known and respected at GAM, and he offers continuity as we look to build on GAM's heritage to return the company to profitability and growth," he added. 

Zumbuehl said: "I am very excited by the opportunity to lead GAM. The business has a strong international brand, talented teams across the business and exceptional investment performance. I look forward to building on these strengths to put GAM onto a sustained recovery path."

Additionally, NewGAMe has increased its funding facility to GAM and outlined plans to provide financing of up to CHF 100m to the Swiss asset manager.

After the collapse of the Liontrust deal NewGAMe and Rock Investments  - a French-incorporated entity which controls NewGAMe - presented itself as a willing financier for GAM and offered to extend immediate short-term financing of CHF 20m (£18m) to "cover GAM's liquidity needs", which GAM entered into an agreement on at the time.

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Spillmann said the group has had "intense and productive interactions with GAM's teams in London, Zurich and other locations over recent weeks and understand the importance of demonstrating our long-term commitment to the company".

The shareholders reiterated that the loan was being offered "to secure funding to meet GAM's liquidity needs and ensure stability at the firm".

NewGAMe said it was willing to provide the Swiss firm with a combination of long- and short-term loans, on the condition that NewGAMe's proposed candidates are elected to the board. Swiss regulators have given the go-ahead for the loan facility, the investor group said. 

GAM did not respond to a request for comment.