The stock got another boost yesterday, rising five per cent on news that boss Manny Roman is considering a US acquisition.
The target – a long-focused hedge fund called Numeric – would certainly be a good fit. Its institutional, US clients would diversify Man’s European-heavy customer base, and mark a savvy shift away from its trend-following, algorithm driven flagship that has failed to shine in recent market conditions.
Numeric’s recent performance also bodes well: each of its three funds is up more than eight per cent over the last 12 months, and assets under management have almost doubled in just a year from just under $8bn to nearly $14bn at the end of March.
So the fit is good, and the numbers are impressive – which means the only sticking point will be price.
It’s well known that Roman has money to spend. Around $1bn in fact, a figure way above what it need to meet regulatory capital buffers. Analysts yesterday put prices varying from $300m-$700m on Numeric – a huge range that Man Group did not comment on yesterday.
Let’s hope that management get negotiations right. Numeric would be a good buy for Man, and it would be a shame if quibbles over the price scuppered a savvy deal.