Financial News

  • 11 December 2012, 7:50

Man CEO Clarke Makes Way For Roman Empire

The chief executive of Man Group, the FTSE-250 hedge fund manager best-known for sponsoring the Booker Prize, will announce this week that he is stepping down in the wake of the dismal performance of its flagship fund.

I understand that Man could say as early as today that Peter Clarke, who has run the company since March 2007, will retire early next year. He will be replaced by Emmanuel Roman, Man's chief operating officer, who joined when his own firm, GLG Partners, was taken over by Man two years ago.

Jon Aisbitt, Man's chairman, has sounded out the group's leading shareholders in recent weeks about the leadership transition. The details of Mr Clarke's departure and Mr Roman's appointment were agreed at a Man board meeting last week, according to insiders.

Mr Clarke had been reported by The Sunday Times in October to be pressing boardroom colleagues that he should stay in his post until the end of next year. Sources said today that that would not happen, and that Mr Roman would take the reins before the spring of 2013.

Investors will be watching closely for details of Mr Clarke's payoff. According to Man's latest annual report, he has a 12-month notice period, and some leading shareholders said today they would oppose any attempt by the company to award Mr Clarke a sum approaching last year's $925,000 (576,000) base salary.

If he does receive a sum on that scale, it could ignite another spark in the ongoing row over rewards for failure at large British companies.

Man shares have slumped in recent months with investors pulling billions of pounds from its funds. Assets under management have fallen from $71bn (44bn) immediately after the GLG takeover to $60bn (37.3bn) this autumn, a figure which includes the impact of another subsequent takeover.

Man's poor performance has been partly the result of the slump in fortunes at AHL, its flagship fund, which historically generated hundreds of millions of pounds in performance fees, which have since evaporated.

Mr Clarke has worked at Man since 1997, and was promoted to finance director three years later.

In recent weeks, the company has been touted as a takeover target for a larger hedge fund or financial services group. In October, Crispin Odey, the prominent financier, revealed that he had taken a small stake in the company.

Man refused to comment.

Advertisement