When a finance house loses directors in droves, starts hiring compliance executives and very publicly modernises its share dealing procedures, it is clear something is seriously wrong. The emergency overhaul of Jardine Fleming began before the five-month investigation by regulators in London and Hong Kong and continued with a steady stream of senior executives departing from the firm. Company directors yesterday insisted a new compliance regime had been imposed and the company was chastened, but strengthened. 'JFIM has emerged from the process with increased management strength and a renewed emphasis on its dealing and compliance procedures,' Henry Strutt, managing director of Jardine Fleming group, said. Alarm bells were set off when a series of senior Jardine Fleming Investment Management directors resigned from April onwards. Managing director Robert Thomas and chief investment officer Colin Armstrong were followed by director of investment services Cynthia Liu and group head of corporate communications Penelope Hill. A slick public relations campaign was implemented with the appointment of Mark White to the position of chief operating officer replacing Robert Thomas. Repeated denials were made that the management shake-up was related to the on-going investigation. In June, Mr White told the South China Morning Post : 'A paradox in our business is that we hire great fund managers but organisationally things happen that cause them to do other things.' Mr White was transferred from the board of Save & Prosper Securities, the retail arm of Robert Fleming, where he had been a close ally of Paul Bateman, now chairman of Robert Fleming Asset Management. The company appointed an officer to oversee compliance with Investment Management Regulatory Organisation rules in 1994. A new position was created overseeing internal audit, and last year a group operations director responsible for all information technology aspects was appointed. This year's overhaul saw a new head of compliance appointed and a rapid upgrade in compliance training for all fund managers. That included changing the way Jardine Fleming executed share orders. A centralised dealing desk for the Japan and Hong Kong offices was introduced, through which managers had to book all trades, rather than choosing their own brokers. The clean-up included appointing accountants Coopers & Lybrand to write a new procedures manual for fund managers and solicitors Linklaters & Paine to review of compliance procedures.