Hedge fund Man Group picks star trader Pierre Lagrange to help realise its Eastern ambitions

STAR trader Pierre Lagrange has been named chairman of Man Asia as the hedge fund looks to expand in the East.

Man, the world’s largest listed hedge fund, has also hired David Mercurio from the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), where he was a senior portfolio manager, as head of Asia Equity. Both appointments are to new positions.

Man bought rival GLG Partners for $1.6bn (£1.02bn) last year in an attempt to boost its flagging growth.

Yesterday it said Lagrange will continue to manage GLG’s global long only and short equity portfolios out of London. He will spend one week a month in Asia.

Lagrange said: “The Man transaction cemented our strong presence in Asia and we intend to evolve this further by boosting GLG’s investment management resources locally, complementing our existing investment teams in London and New York.”

Peter Clarke, Man chief executive, said: “We are already extremely well represented in terms of trading, sales and distribution in Asia and we are determined to increase our investment management capabilities in the region, specifically in China.”

Man Group manages more than $70bn in assets and a quarter of its funds under management came from Asia-Pacific at the end of March.

Strong demand in Japan for an open-ended version of Man’s flagship computer-driven fund AHL helped the hedge fund boast stronger than expected first-quarter inflows earlier this year.

Lagrange, who recently sold his London mansion for £90m, hit the gossip pages last month when he divorced his wife Catherine and declared he is gay.