Man Group's new CEO faces surge in client outflows


Man Group is set to post an increase in client outflows on Friday, showing that new chief executive Many Roman still has much work to do to turn around the hedge fund manager's fortunes.

The former FTSE-100 firm, whose shares are down by almost two-thirds since the start of 2011, could post its highest level of net outflows since the credit crisis and above levels seen under ex-CEO Peter Clarke when it updates investors on first-quarter trading.

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Broker RBC Capital Markets, for instance, forecasts $3.8 billion of net outflows in the first quarter, with withdrawals across every product line, and says it doesn't expect net inflows until the final quarter of next year. Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, expects $4 billion of withdrawals.

Such outflows would mark a tough start for Roman, who succeeded Clarke at the end of February - the first quarter reporting period is therefore shared between Clarke and Roman - and who has already made sweeping changes in an effort to turn around a firm dating back to the 18th century.

These include appointing Sandy Rattray as head of $14.4 billion computer-driven fund AHL and Luke Ellis as Man's president. The firm has also changed AHL's corporate structure.

Man's problems stem in part from poor returns, particularly at AHL, on which it is heavily reliant and which lost money in 2011 and 2012.

However, an upturn in performance this year - AHL is up 9.9 percent since January 1 - has helped.

Some investors are betting on a recovery. Last week Odey Asset Management raised its stake to more than 6 percent, having already profited from a rebound in the shares.

Man also holds its annual general meeting on Friday. At last year's meeting small shareholders criticized boardroom pay, particularly Clarke's nearly $7 million package.

However, Roman has moved to cap short-term annual cash bonuses, while the group is also paying no bonuses to top executives for 2012.

(Editing by Mark Potter)