Sam Isaly, manager of Worldwide Healthcare (WWH) investment trust, has been accused of sexually harassing women in the workplace.
Isaly, who has managed the £1.3 billion trust since its launch in 1995, has denied the allegations reported by health industry publication Stat News yesterday.
OrbiMed Advisors, the New York-based healthcare fund manager founded by Isaly, said it had hired a law firm to investigate the claims.
Stat News said its story was based on interviews with five people who had accused Isaly of harassing them directly or had witnessed the behaviour.
According to the allegations, Isaly, the 72-year-old managing partner of OrbiMed, had shown hardcore pornography in the office, made lewd jokes and sexist comments and verbally abused female employees.
He is also alleged to have kept a set of breast implants on his desk that he would use as a stress ball, according to Stat News.
In a statement OrbiMed said: ‘The incidents cited are concerning and OrbiMed has retained the services of an outside independent law firm to investigate the matter. OrbiMed takes gender equality seriously and wishes to encourage a supportive work environment and equal opportunity for all employees.’
Worldwide Healthcare Trust also issued a statement, saying: 'The independent members of the board remain closely in touch with OrbiMed and will keep shareholders informed of any relevant developments.'
Isaly launched OrbiMed in 1989 with Worldwide Healthcare following six years later. It also manages the London-listed Biotech Growth (BIOG) investment trust.
Since his teens Isaly has been confined to a wheelchair after a wrestling incident left him paralysed.
Barron’s magazine, a US investment publication, has recognised him as the only US fund manager to beat the S&P 500 for 25 consecutive years to 30 November 2015.
Isaly discussed his career and his background in a recent interview with Investment Trust Insider.
WWH shares slipped 5p to £24.65 on Wednesday. They have delivered a total return of nearly 18% this year and 210% over five years.