Man Group Names Roman To Replace Clarke As CEO

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Man Group Plc (LON:EMG), the biggest publicly traded London Based hedge fund manager, President and Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel Roman will replace Chief Executive officer (CEO) Peter Clarke when he retires next year. Clarke announced his intention to retire, effective February 28, 2013.

After a rigorous evaluation process conducted by the board, Roman has been promoted to take over the position of CEO Man Group Plc (LON:EMG) immediately after Clarke retires.

“Peter has put in place an excellent management team around him and has led this phase of the re-positioning of the business. I am delighted to say that Manny Roman’s dedication to Man and commitment to delivering performance for investors makes him the ideal candidate to take over from Peter,” Chairman Jon Aisbitt Man Group Plc (LON:EMG) said in a statement.

It has been reported that the change in high level management took place in a board meeting last week, following extreme pressure from investors faced by CEO Clarke ever since the UK based hedge fund manager has come across a recent decline its share price and disenchanted clients withdrawing funds. Earlier this month, BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) reduced its stake in Man Group Plc (LON:EMG) stepping away from its position of the largest shareholder in the investment firm.

The newly promoted CEO, is also a non-executive director of Grupo Prisa SA (education, media and entertainment).

“We have also built an excellent team of experienced senior management. Manny Roman has been a key part of our progress and has been working closely with me for the past two years. He is an excellent leader for the business and I am delighted that he will be taking over from me to continue the work of building on the strong position of Man in our industry,” Clarke noted.

According to Wall Street Journal, Man Group Plc (LON:EMG) says it would continue to offer investors products that are more liquid, more transparent, and more diversified.

BAML analysts  do not see any particular change to Man’s strategy post the change. They note that Mr. Roman has been heavily involved in Man’s recent strategic moves, including two significant rounds of cost cutting. He has also been involved with the overall fund management platform. They therefore imagine that change will be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

No “restructuring”

BAML believes it is important not to lose sight of all the cost reductions which the company has already undertaken, culminating in the set of reductions promulgated by CFO Jonathan Sorrell. They would not expect that there are any step changes in cost reduction available, nor that Mr. Roman will want to make dramatic changes to Man’s overall business profile.

BAML retains their Buy recommendation on Man. They think that the company is extremely inexpensive on any normalised year of performance fees for AHL, or should demand for alternative products normalise. Mr. Roman will no doubt be able to implement ideas for sharpening up Man’s delivery and cost programmes as CEO but performance and industry concerns will remain paramount in the short term.

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