Hedge fund’s new man to put a leash on costs

Michael Bow
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HEDGE fund Man Group, the largest listed alternatives asset manager on the FTSE, yesterday turned the reins of the business over to its chief operating officer in a bid to drive home a cost cutting agenda and turn the faltering outfit around

Emmanuel “Manny” Roman, who is the former co-chief executive of Man subsidiary GLG and also current president of Man, will take charge of the business at the end of February next year, replacing outgoing chief Peter Clarke.

The ex Goldman Sachs derivatives chief said he intended to maintain “pressure on costs” in his new role adding, “I am confident that we can deliver significant long term value.”

Top of his in-tray when he takes over will be the dismal performance of the group’s AHL arm, its “black-box” trading programme, which makes up more than 70 per cent of Man’s earnings but has lost 3.6 per cent this year.

Roman will also have to quell shareholder rumblings and discontent, following over a year of underperformance. Man posted its fifth quarter of fund outflows in its most recent financial statement, and its share price has fallen from as high as 153p to as low as 61p over the past year.

A source close to the company said: “It’s a new lease of the life and Manny will be very focused and performance orientated. He’s already been getting on and doing the grind work of making the place more efficient.”

The rise of Roman to lead Man is a startling coup for GLG, which was taken over by Man Group in 2010 for $1.6bn and sits alongside AHL and its fund of fund model FRM.

Goldman Sachs said in a client note last night: “Insofar as Mr Roman was formerly Man Group’s COO, we believe that this will help reassure investors that these efficiency savings will be realised at minimum impact to the group’s operations.”