Man To Cut Jobs, Merge Units After Steep Drop In Profit

Mar 26 2009 | 10:56am ET

The Man Group is planning a drastic makeover as it seeks to turn around falling profits and assets.

Man said it plans to cut costs by US$60 million over the coming fiscal year, in part by slashing about 15% of its “permanent employee headcount.” The firm did not specify exactly how many people would lose their jobs, but Man has about 1,800 employees, meaning as many as 270 could be laid off.

The firm also said it was merging its fund of hedge funds and multi-strategy hedge fund businesses, and charging the combined unit with expanding its managed accounts program. Man hopes to double the number of managed accounts it offers, from 70 to 140, CEO Peter Clarke said.

The London hedge fund firm said it expects profits to fall 43% in the fiscal year ending next week, as assets under management have fallen by more than a third, to US$47.7 billion. Institutions withdrew about $4.2 billion over the last 12 months; private investors actually added $2 billion. Profit before tax and exceptional items will probably fall to US$1.2 billion, from US$2.1 billion.

Last year’s one bright spot, the performance of it flagship AHL Diversified Futures Fund, has soured a bit this year. AHL is down about 5.5% year-to-date, after returning an impressive 25% last year despite all of the market carnage.

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