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Mutual Fund News

Loss of key client sends Seamark stock on roller-coaster ride

MUTUAL FUNDS REPORTER

Seamark Asset Management Ltd. tumbled as much as 19 per cent yesterday before recovering a portion of its slide, following the loss of a key client that represented about one-third of the Halifax money manager's business.

The stock fell 61 cents to close at $8.40 after dropping as low as $7.31 early in the session.

On Monday, Clarington Corp. said it was pulling about $2.9-billion in funds from accounts managed by Seamark. Clarington is Seamark's single largest customer and cuts the fund company's assets under management to about $6.4-billion.

The loss was not wholly unexpected. In December, Clarington was acquired by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. The Quebec City company is shifting the bulk of Clarington funds managed by Seamark to its in-house management.

Seamark management declined to comment but in a statement, said it was "disappointed." The firm has seen a steady exodus of institutional clients over the past year.

More changes at Seamark are expected. Dale Noseworthy, analyst at Beacon Securities Ltd, said the company must quickly find a new chief executive officer, an appointment long overdue.

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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