Japan fund is boost to Man as assets soar

 
City A.M. Reporter
MAN Group reported a jump in assets and better-than-expected profits yesterday, as a big fundraising in Japan helped the world’s largest listed hedge fund firm accelerate its belated recovery from the credit crisis.

The firm – which now runs $71bn (£43.3bn) in client assets, up three per cent since March – attracted $2bn alone for a new open-ended version of its flagship AHL fund in Japan, signalling a sharp rebound in confidence in Man’s computer-led strategies.

The fundraising is above the $1.5bn it said it had raised, which had smashed analysts’ forecasts, and comes despite poor returns from AHL this month after a commodity sell-off.

“The strong fund flow momentum since year-end is a clear positive,” Citi analysts said in a note, while pointing out that “unsustainable” factors had driven the forecast-beating profits.

Shares in Man Group closed up 2.4 per cent yesterday at 245p, valuing it at almost £4.5bn.

“The phenomenal success of the Japan AHL launch demonstrates the concerns people had around the ... earthquake and ... tsunami around our asset-raising were completely unfounded,” said Man’s chief executive Peter Clarke.

Man Group said in March that clients had finally begun to return to its funds, helped by last year’s $1.6bn acquisition of GLG, ending a two-year streak of net outflows.