Man boosted by private investor sales

MAN Group, the world&rsquo;s largest publicly traded hedge fund, said yesterday funds under management fell over the first quarter of the year, but investors were buoyed by a surge in private investor sales and better-than-expected levels of redemptions.<br /><br />The group reported a 7.5 per cent drop in funds under management over the period, from $46.8bn (&pound;28.8bn) at the end of March to $43.3bn at the end of June.<br /><br />The total was helped by currency movements but suffered a $1.5bn blow after Man cut leverage levels in some private investor products following poor performance in its flagship AHL futures fund, which was down 11.2 per cent in the first five months.<br /><br />But the firm said it saw strong sales to private investors over the period, rising to $3.4bn, which, coupled with a reduced level of redemptions, led to net private investor inflow of $1.9bn.<br /><br />Chief executive Peter Clarke said: &ldquo;Our product range, with its focus on liquid and transparent investment strategies, together with our long track record, has generated high levels of demand across our distribution network, particularly from Asia Pacific.&rdquo;<br /><br />Man said sales to institutional investors remained muted, as companies continued to pull cash out of its funds. Institutional redemptions totalled $3.6bn for the quarter, slightly better than previously estimated.<br /><br />Barclays Wealth analyst Roddy Wallace described the statement as &ldquo;average&rdquo;, but said he believed Man had good prospects longer term.<br /><br />&ldquo;Should the threat of regulatory action in the news come to much, which we do not expect, we see Man as a relative winner,&rdquo; he wrote in a note. &ldquo;We continue to see increasing demand for alternative assets in both private and institutional portfolios.&rdquo;