The news was first reported by the Irish Times in Dublin, where Pioneer has its European head office.
Pioneer confirmed the suspensions. No regulatory infringements were involved, it said. Le Saout and Chabaane were unavailable for comment.
The European bond operation is an important part of Pioneer’s business, delivering strong performance despite the uncertainties relating to its ownership. Pioneer is owned by Italian bank Unicredit which on December 5 said it had entered exclusive talks to sell the business to Amundi. The price for the €225 billion manager could be as high as €3.5 billion.
To fill the gaps Pioneer has put Le Saout’s co-manager Cosimo Marasciulo, head of European government bonds, in charge of the European bond business. Declan Murray, global chief of investment staff, has been tasked with leading portfolio construction.
They will be in charge of looking after 19 specialist bond managers and 24 analysts, operating in separate teams.
Amundi has a successful bond division in its own right and its core ambition is to build on Pioneer’s distribution clout. Amundi’s chief executive Yves Perrier has said he wants to use Pioneer to expand in Italy, Germany and Austria.