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Billionaire investor Eric Sprott, chairman of Sprott Inc., speaks during an interview in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Monday, July 9, 2012.Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

There's been a changing of the guard at Sprott Inc. as its founder steps back from portfolio management.

The firm said Tuesday that Eric Sprott would relinquish responsibilities for the daily management of five funds, a succession planning move the asset manager signalled in late 2013.

The change marks a shift in strategy at Sprott towards team-based fund management and tighter risk controls, the company's management said in last year's announcement.

As Mr. Sprott transitions away from his previous role, the firm is also welcoming new blood to its ranks, bringing on fund managers Jonathan Wiesblatt and James Bowen to co-lead the Sprott Canadian Equity Fund and the Sprott Canadian Equity Class. Both joined Sprott in December last year and most recently worked at Toronto-based investment firm JC Clark Ltd.

Others on the Sprott team are getting new responsibilities. Senior portfolio manager Paul Wong will manage the Sprott Hedge Fund LP, Sprott Hedge Fund LP II and the Sprott Bull/Bear RSP Fund, with managers Jason Mayer and Maria Smirnova.

Sprott said Mr. Wong, Mr. Mayer and Ms. Smirnova will form a precious metals team and manage several other gold, silver and resource-focused funds.

The company also announced that Charles Oliver, veteran portfolio manager with precious metals and resources investment expertise, has left Sprott.

"Over the years we have evolved from a founder-led organization into a diversified alternative asset manager," said John Wilson, chief executive of Sprott Asset Management, in a statement Tuesday. "While the new portfolio management teams have their own unique views on how to deliver superior performance to investors, they will continue to manage the funds in the value-added, contrarian fashion established under Eric's leadership."

Mr. Sprott will still hold the title of chairman of the company's board and represent the company to clients and shareholders, said the company's chief executive Peter Grosskopf.

"Eric remains Sprott's largest shareholder and he and his family are among our largest clients," Mr. Grosskopf said.

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