Charlie Aitken is selling out of his self-titled funds management company just months after his very public high-society love triangle.
The Sydney investment banker was embroiled in scandal in late 2021 after shacking up Hollie Nasser, his wife Ellie’s best friend, shortly after his marriage broke down.
The partner swap shocked the city’s eastern suburbs social clique and was further complicated by the fact Mr Aitken was in business with Ms Nasser’s investor husband, Christopher.
Now, Mr Aitken has advised investors of Aitken Investment Management of his intention to resign.
In a note to clients, Mr Aitken said the investment team has agreed to buy his family’s shares, at which point he will stand down and the company will be rebranded Constantia Investment Partners.
Charlie Aitken (pictured with his wife Ellie) is leaving his self-titled investment fund company
‘The investment team are humbled to take the baton from Charlie to lead the company, and to continue stewarding the capital out investors have entrusted to us,’ Etienne Vlok, the chief investment officer said.
Mr Vlok will manage the fund alongside co-portfolio manager Daniel Gerdis, senior analyst Andrew Strasser, and chief executive Les Andrews.
AIM, which counted the Aitken family as its majority shareholder, suffered poor returns over the financial year – taking a 9.9 per cent dive during Mr Vlok’s reign.
Packer’s lieutenant Rob Rankin and Mr. Nasser, who has stepped down as AIM’s director, still hold shares in the company.
Billionaire Kerry Stokes was a previous shareholder, purchasing a 19.99 per cent stake in 2017, until selling out after disappointing returns.
The company took a hit in the wake of Mr Aitken’s relationship woes, with Ms Nasser’s jilted estranged husband Christopher Nasser pulling $7.5million from the fund and stepping off the board of AIM after five years as director and shareholder.
Mr Aitken later revealed AIM Global High Conviction Fund delivered a return of 3 per cent after fees in December, compared to a benchmark return of 1.7 per cent.
Mr Aitken hit the headlines in late 2021 after he began dating Hollie Nassar (pictured), his wife’s best friend and the partner of his colleague
Christopher Nasser (pictured with his wife) left AIM in the wake of the high-profile love triangle
That means for the whole of 2021, AIM had a 31.1 per cent return after fees, ahead of a 29.3 per cent benchmark.
Mr Aitken’s decision comes after a turmoil-filled year after the public breakdown of his marriage and subsequent short-lived romance with Ms Nassar.
Ms Nasser and Mr Aitken spent several months in a love bubble, trying to take things slow, until intense public scrutiny of their relationship added a level of pressure they didn’t expect – or know how to handle.
They quietly parted ways earlier this year and were said to be disappointed in how everything played out.
In May, five months after the new couple went public, Daily Mail Australia was told Ms Nasser was openly telling people she was ‘single’, signaling she was no longer in a relationship with Mr Aitken.
After making the announcement, Ms Nasser posted pictures to her social media accounts enjoying days at Randwick races and nights out with friends.
Ms Nassar reportedly confided in friends she was struggling with all the attention the relationship brought her.
‘She never wanted it,’ a friend said. ‘She just wanted to get back to being a mum.
‘Hollie really just wants to move on with her life.’
They shared a kiss before Mr Aitken held open the passenger side door for Ms Nasser
The Nassers and Aitkens were two of Sydney’s power couples before a scandalous love triangle tore them apart (pictured, Hollie and Christopher Nasser)
Despite trying to keep a low profile in the early days of their relationship, Mr Aitken and Ms Nasser were often seen making grand, public displays of affection.
Word of their split first made waves through their social circles in Sydney’s east, but they denied there was any trouble.
Mr Aitken has gone out of his way to mend his relationship with his estranged lawyer wife Ellie Aitken, and the pair are amicable for the sake of their children.
Ellie still holds a senior position with investment firm Pallas Capital after jumping ship from her estranged husband’s company in the wake of their split.
During the initial controversy, Ms Aitken snapped and released private conversations with Ms Nasser accusing her former friend of ‘bullying’, before whisking her family away for a holiday in Aspen.
Ellie Aitken (pictured), a lawyer, jumped from her husband’s company to take on a senior position with investment firm Pallas Capital
All four parties in a high-society love split have now gone their separate ways, but are still intertwined as a result of their young children and the company they keep. Pictured dining at Eleven Madison Park in New York before the Covid pandemic
She flew out of Sydney on December 15 for a quiet break to avoid the intense limelight of the public fallout of her 19 year marriage.
‘The truth is that despite the support of friends and family I have not coped well with the deeply hurtful lies, gossip and innuendo that has surrounded the breakdown of my relationship,’ she said in a statement released on her departure.
She announced she would be ‘taking a break from social media’ and public view while she and her family adjust to the separation and her estranged husband’s new relationship.
As for Mr Nasser, friends said he was ‘mortified’ that the breakdown of his marriage played out so publicly and sought comfort in his close network.
On top of the devastating split, Mr Nasser was hit with an AVO taken out by his ex and the matter appeared several times before the courts until it was eventually dropped.
Mr Nasser’s lawyer Paul McGirr told Daily Mail Australia he had argued with police that the AVO was ‘baseless’, and had been used ‘as a sword instead of a shield’ against a non-violent person.
Hollie also said that she, too, sought to have the AVO dropped.
The grounds for the order were allegations of ‘general intimidation behaviour’ during the marriage which founded late last year.
Mr McGirr said that Mr Nasser had been ‘bewildered and shocked’ by the restraining order and ‘he now wants to move on with his life’.
All four parties have now gone their separate ways.
HIGH SOCIETY SPLIT – THE TIMELINE
Ellie Aitken, a lawyer-turned fashion designer, joins an investment business Pallas, which is a rival to her husband’s company Aitken Investment Management
October 16 :
Ms Aitken posts a gushing birthday message to her friend Hollie Nasser, saying she is ‘so lucky to have you in my life.’
It is publicly revealed that the Aitken and Nasser marriages have both ended.
Mr Nasser, who is Mr Aitken’s business partner at Aitken Investment Management, resigns from his position as director of the board and is replaced by his brother Damien.
Ms Aitken also steps down as an executive from the company during the same weekend.
Police days later take out an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order against Mr Nasser on behalf of his estranged wife.
Mr Aitken confirms he is in a relationship with Ms Nasser.
‘I can confirm I am separated from Ellie Aitken and am in a relationship with Hollie Nasser,’ Aitken said.
‘My sole focus is my children and I’ll make no further comment.’
Mr Nasser speaks out about the AVO and announces he plans to fight the allegations when the case goes to court on December 15.
Mr Aitken is photographed running errands with Ms Nasser and taking items into her home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
Later that evening, Ms Aitken posts photos of her alongside Mr Aitken at their son’s Rugby awards night.
It is revealed Ms Nasser’s car has reportedly been vandalised, with someone scratching the word ‘slut’ on one of the doors
Ms Aitken leaks the heated messages between her and Ms Nasser as their friendship deteriorates.
Mr Aitken is later spotted at the family home, embroiled in a confrontation with Ellie as he picked up his clothes.
The Nassers are also spotted out together with their kids.
Ellie Aitken reveals she will be ‘taking a break from social media’ as she copes with the fallout of her marriage breakdown.
‘The truth is that despite the support of friends and family I have not coped well with the deeply hurtful lies, gossip and innuendo that has surrounded the breakdown of my relationship,’ she said.
‘I had attempted to put on a brave face and tried to manage my feelings and well-being despite the fact that I have not had any control over the reasons for my sorrow.’
It is also revealed that Mr Nasser withdrew up to $7.5 million from Mr Aitken’s firm.
Mr Aitken and his wife Ellie had been long-time friends of the Nasser’s, and Mr Nasser was a director of the Aitken’s wealth management company