Investors cheer Man Group cuts to save $100m

Michael Bow
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ALTERNATIVE fund manager Man Group said yesterday it would cut more staff in an attempt to resize the business amid falling asset allocations from investors, sending its shares higher.

Chief executive Peter Clarke announced a further round of cost cuts totalling $100m (£64.5m), including headcount reductions, on top of a planned $95m squeeze announced in March – a saving equal to nearly a quarter of group operating costs.

Man’s funds under management slumped 9.8 per cent to $52.7bn this year, down from $58.4bn at the end of last year and $71bn in June 2011.

Clarke told City A.M. the firm was going through a “transition” to get on the “front foot” for when investor appetite for riskier assets picked up.

He said: “There is a programme there around sizing the business appropriately. We have announced additional steps to get on the front foot in maintaining attractive levels of profit.

“We don’t know when sentiment is going to turn – we don’t know when investors will put risk back on. We would have hoped we were through it all.”

Clarke did not reveal where staff would be reduced.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Philip Middleton said: “We think the market has been worrying excessively about short term factors with Man, ignoring the company’s powerful strategic positioning as well as its solid financials.”

Shares in the FTSE 250-listed firm rose as much as 9.3 per cent in early trading, before settling to close 4.12 per cent up at 72p.