Man-scaping: Deconstructing Man Investments is easier today

Man Investments used to be one of the alternative sector’s most labyrinthine firms. It's become a lot simpler following a rationalisation, says Asia-Pacific head Tim Rainsford.
Man-scaping: Deconstructing Man Investments is easier today

In the past, UK-based Man Investments used to acquire fund-of-hedge-funds brands, and shoe-horn them into what ended up as a horribly convoluted organisational chart.

It was divided between Glenwood, RMF Investment Management, Man Global Strategies (MGS) and Man AHL, which (roughly) looked after the retail, institutional, seeding and managed-futures businesses, respectively. The managed-futures component was self-explanatory, but the rest appeared to overlap and confused those who weren't intimate with the company. The four units employ 1,300 people, compared to 1,600 in the past.

After a giant reorganisation, the Man Investments business looks different. There used to be hundreds of products, but about two-thirds of those have been scythed away. Assets under management has fallen from $79 billion (in June 2008) to just under $39.1 billion as of 31 March, although given the firm's cash reserves it was able to meet redemption requests without gating. (Man is a listed public limited company, so it always had to keep a certain amount of cash on hand.)

The Glenwood, RMF and MGS brands have been scrapped. The firm has also terminated the MGS seeding business, though will continue seeding on a case-by-case basis through the reincarnation of RMF. Man AHL remains and accounts for about $20 billion of AUM, with the other $10 billion sitting in the fund-of-hedge-funds business. 

The former boss of MGS in Hong Kong, Sebastien Honniball, now has a new role as director of financial institutions, origination and client coverage in the wholesale banking division at Standard Chartered in Hong Kong.

Due diligence on hedge funds is still being carried out in Singapore by head of equity hedge Asia Patric Gysin and senior portfolio adviser Franz Schmid, but Adrian Gmuer, the former RMF business head, is no longer with the firm.

"We have 158 globally approved managers on our list of which 120 form part of our fund-of-hedge-funds product," says Tim Rainsford, Asia-Pacific managing director of Man Investments in Hong Kong. "We have used managed accounts for over 10 years, and currently 78 of those 158 hedge fund managers are accessed via managed accounts, which represents 60% of our total fund-of-hedge-funds assets under management. We intend to keep increasing the number of managed accounts we use where possible"

Plans for the immediate future are based on ramping up business activity in South Korea and Taiwan, and a plan to establish a fund-of-managed-futures fund in Singapore, similar to one set up previously in Taiwan.

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