×

'There is no tumult' at Guggenheim Partners, says CIO Scott Minerd

  • Guggenheim Partners chief investment officer Scott Minerd downplayed reports that there was upheaval at the firm, telling CNBC on Monday "there is no tumult."
  • Reports have included that Mark Walter was considering stepping down as CEO and that there was a power struggle between Walter and Minerd.
  • Minerd confirmed the SEC is conducting an examination into the firm.

Guggenheim Partners chief investment officer Scott Minerd downplayed reports that there was upheaval at the firm, telling CNBC on Monday "there is no tumult."

Reports have included that Mark Walter was considering stepping down as CEO and that there was a power struggle between Walter and Minerd.

Minerd called the characterization of a power struggle "completely wrong" and said there is "no fighting" going on between the two.

He said Guggenheim is one of the fastest-growing asset management firms and because of that a lot of decisions need to be made.

"We are highly energetic internally. There's a very spirited debate on the things to do that are right and wrong. And I think people from the outside or even people on the inside can misunderstand that sometimes," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

In fact, Minerd said his relationship with Walter is probably better than it's ever been and that he's "highly supportive" of the CEO.

On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Walter's role was "hanging in the balance" amid a power struggle between Walter and Minerd.

Bloomberg News reported earlier Tuesday that Walter may step away from day-to-day management of Guggenheim, and The Wall Street Journal later reported on Tuesday that the billionaire has told colleagues he is considering stepping down as CEO.

A source told Reuters that at least one member of Guggenheim's board of directors has pressed Walter to leave the firm after he became the subject of news coverage. However, on Wednesday the board told employees the CEO has the full support of each and every one of its members, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Guggenheim Partners responded on Tuesday that Walter has no current plans to step down and is not being pushed out of the investment firm he helped found.

When asked if Walter planned to stick around, Minerd replied, "All of us have to make a decision someday about what our lives are and where we're going. Mark has not given any indication that he wants to leave at this time."

SEC examination

Minerd also confirmed there is a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission examination ongoing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is looking at Guggenheim's operations, certain investments and disclosures. Reuters reported the SEC is looking into an investment the firm made in a London-listed company focused on banking operations in Africa, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Minerd didn't address the specifics of the examination but said they are part of being an asset manager.

"As part of a routine examination, or any other examination that goes on, you basically work with your regulator to cooperate, answer the questions and show them that you're being completely transparent," he said. "The examination that is currently underway, we are working very closely with SEC to bring to a close."

— Reuters contributed to this report.