Withdrawals still a drag on Man’s profits

THE WORLD’S biggest listed hedge fund, Man Group, has clocked up an eighth consecutive quarter of net withdrawals, as an improved performance from its flagship AHL fund failed to stem the outflow of private client money.

Man, which in May agreed to buy GLG Partners in a $1.6bn (£1.01bn) deal, recorded net outflows of $600m in the three months to the end of September, though the rate of withdrawals slowed from the first quarter.

Institutions regained confidence in Man over the quarter, injecting a net $0.1bn of money, but that was offset by private investors pulling $700m of cash from the firm’s funds.

Man expects pre-tax profit for the half year to September to come in at $215m, 19.8 per cent below the second half of the prior year, due to a dip in net management fees and minimal performance fees. Though the performance of AHL, which lost 16 per cent last year, has bucked up to report gains of 7.6 per cent over the past 12 months, clients are still largely below the “high water mark” above which Man can charge performance fees.

Funds under management are expected to stand at $39.5bn at the end of September, $1bn higher than at the end of June, thanks to positive currency effects.

Man’s acquisition of GLG will complete in mid-October, helping the group to diversify away from its reliance on AHL, which lagged far behind its peers last year.