Listed hedge fund Man Group surprised the City with a change of finance director yesterday, as it began life outside the FTSE 100.
The company, which was dropped from the top share index after losing around two-thirds of its value in the last year, said Kevin Hayes had left “to pursue other interests” with immediate effect.
He will be replaced by Jonathan Sorrell, son of WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell and formerly Man’s head of strategy and corporate finance.
Before joining Man last year, Sorrell had worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs for more than a decade.
Chief executive Peter Clarke said: “Since joining Man, Jonathan has played a key role, most recently in structuring the proposed acquisition of FRM.
“In his new position, Jonathan’s experience in financial markets, especially his deep working knowledge of the hedge fund industry, will be extremely valuable as we continue to develop and evolve in challenging world markets.”
A source close to the company said the changes reflected a “fightback” move aimed at revitalising Man’s strategy and luring back unsettled investors by signalling a change of strategy.
It is thought Hayes left under amicable circumstances and the move had been agreed some time in advance.
However, his departure comes just a week after Man’s head of research methodology, Darren Upton, left to join to Isam, a rival company set up by former Man chief executive Stanley Fink.
Upton had led the team responsible for developing trading models for Man’s flagship AHL fund, which has suffered an extended run of poor performance.
AHL accounts for roughly 70 per cent of the group’s revenue, but the $21 billion (£13.4bn) fund lost 6.4 per cent last year. It was around 14 per cent away from its so-called high-water mark in March – the level at which it can start earning performance fees for Man.
The poor performance has led clients to pull their money out of AHL, which meant Man’s assets under management slide by more than $6bn in the nine months to end March.
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