Man Group’s funds fall in first half, Brexit yet to hit flows

Performance fees at hedge fund manager fall sharply from year earlier period

British hedge fund manager Man Group on Tuesday posted a 3 per cent fall in funds under management in the first half of the year as investment losses and other market moves more than offset a small rise in net inflows.

Asset managers have faced a tough year so far due to uncertain global growth. Man has joined rivals Aberdeen Asset Management and Ashmore in seeing investors pull money from funds betting on rising equity prices.

The world’s biggest listed hedge fund manager said it had seen net inflows of $1 billion over the period, compared with outflows of $2.6 billion a year earlier, helped by strong demand for its systematic AHL strategies.

Negative market moves took $2.2 billion off the value of its funds, however, while currency and other moves cost them $1.1 billion, taking total funds under management to $76.4 billion at June 30th from $78.7 billion at the end of December.


"The first quarter of the year was a highly volatile period in financial markets. AHL's momentum strategies performed well, but it was a difficult time for our long only strategies," outgoing chief executive Emmanuel Roman said in a statement.

Brexit volatility

Shares in Man Group fell 2.1 per cent in early trading in a 0.3 per cent weaker mid-cap index.

Mr Roman, who is leaving the firm at the end of August, said recent volatility around Britain's vote to leave the European Union had benefitted AHL but created a difficult environment for its discretionary investment strategies.

While the outlook after the Brexit vote remained uncertain and could impact client flows, Mr Roman said he seen “no meaningful change so far”. He also said the firm had no plans to move its headquarters from Britain.

As result of the weaker performance, the fees Man Group charges for outperformance fell sharply in the period, to $42 million from $231 million from the year earlier period. Management fees, chargeable every year regardless, fell to $381 million from $428 million.

"The positives in our opinion are the resiliency of Man's net flows and an outlook statement that indicates no adverse impact – so far – from the uncertainty created by Brexit," RBC analyst Peter Lenardos said in a client note. – Reuters