Man Group Plc, the world's largest publicly traded hedge fund, will reduce pay and eliminate jobs in a plan to reduce costs by about ten per cent as market turmoil prompted clients to withdraw money.
The $75 million (Dh275.4 million) of reductions will add to $40 million already being implemented, chief executive officer Peter Clarke told reporters on a conference call yesterday. Two-thirds of the savings will be made this year and the rest in 2013, he said. The firm employed about 1,600 people at the end of March.
Man Group is trying to make savings as turmoil in Europe hurt its investment returns. Clients withdrew a net $2.5 billion from the company's investment funds during the fourth quarter amid concern that Europe's sovereign debt crisis would make it difficult for money managers to find profitable wagers. Assets under management fell to $58.4 billion at the end of December from $64.5 billion three months earlier, the firm said.
The decline in assets under management were "in line with reduced expectations, but the cost savings are an unexpected positive," Haley Tam, an analyst at Citigroup Inc who rates the stock a ‘neutral', wrote in a note to clients yesterday.
The shares rose 5.1 per cent to 112.6 pence as of 9.37am in London for a market value of about £2 billion ($3.1 billion). The stock has declined 11 per cent so far this year.
"Man should attack its expense base," Garrod, who rates Man Group ‘overweight', wrote in a January 16 report to clients. The company should reduce its dividend and consider pay cuts for fund managers, particularly at the GLG Partners LP unit acquired in 2010, he wrote. "If GLG outflows continue, management need to do more here, addressing staff numbers" and pay, he said.
Man Group's revenue comes from fees for managing client money, and fees charged for any investment gains on the funds. Analysts have been reducing 2012 profit estimates for Man Group after concluding that the decline in assets and investment losses for the firm's biggest hedge fund, AHL Diversified, will threaten fees the company charges clients.
Man Group said adjusted pretax profit in the nine months through December was $257 million compared with $599 million in the 12 months through March 2011. Man Group is changing year-end reporting period to December.
"Trading conditions have been tough," Clarke said yesterday. "Investment performance varied significantly across styles, with market volatility and reduced market liquidity impacting trading opportunities."
Barclays's Garrod this week cut his earnings-per-share estimate for the company to 12p a share from 17p.