Man shares plunge after $2.6bn pulled

INVESTORS are pulling money from Man Group at the fastest rate since early 2009, the world’s largest listed hedge fund said yesterday.

Man shocked the City when it said clients withdrew a net $2.6bn (£1.67bn) between the start of July and the end of September.

Analysts at Singer Capital Markets had expected net outflows of just $200m and the Man board is now discussing whether the market announcement could have been better handled.

Man saw total assets under management fall to $65bn, down 8.45 per cent from $71bn at the end of June. The results led Man shares to plunge 24.9 per cent to 180p last night.

Asked if the Eurozone crisis is nearly as bad as the crash of 2008-09, chief executive Peter Clarke told City A.M.: “Yes. The problems are, clearly. They need to be resolved.”

Clarke said Man was able to continue to buy and sell financial instruments comfortably but warned that investor appetite will be “generally suppressed” for the rest of the year.

The update raised questions about Man’s $1.6bn 2010 purchase of smaller rival GLG, which it bought to diversify away from its main computer-driven fund AHL and enhance earnings power.

Man was hit by poor performance and redemptions from hedge funds run by its GLG unit. In particular, its Alpha Select hedge fund fell 13.7 per cent in the five months to August, while its European Opportunity fund was down 12.4 per cent and its Emerging Markets fund was 14.7 per cent lower.