LONDON (HedgeWorld.com)–Man Group plc* Chairman Harvey McGrath said the firm raised around US$6 billion in assets since year-end and the maturation of a large institutional account freed investment capacity for more profitable products, in a statement made at the firm’s July 7 annual general meeting.
Shareholders voted for a number of routine actions such as the re-election of six directors, including Mr. McGrath. Among the resolutions passed is one that gives the company the power to purchase its own stock, up to a maximum of 31 million ordinary shares.
This authority lapses either by January 2006 or Man’s next annual meeting. On the basis of a similar resolution last year, the company purchased and canceled 225,022 shares in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2004.
“The board remains very confident of the prospects for the group,” said McGrath in his statement. “Demand for our fund products has been very strong, both from private clients and institutions.”
Two new products, Man RMF Multi-Style and Man Global Strategies Diversified Series 2, accounted for US$1.4 billion of the asset inflow, while institutional sales, almost all at Man’s Swiss-based fund of funds RMF, raised US$3.5 billion. Joint ventures and other private investor sales contributed US$1.1 billion.
Redemptions partly compensated for the inflow, however. At the end of June, agreements RMF had with a large institution matured. The amount under management through these agreements was around US$3.1 billion.
Of this, US$0.6 billion is to be rolled into a new product for the same institution, while Man repackaged and sold to other institutions another US$1.8 billion–which is included in the assets raised.
According to Mr. McGrath, the maturation of this low-margin product has allowed RMF to recycle and re-price high-quality underlying capacity, so that RMF expects a material increase in its net profits. After these various changes, Man estimates its total assets at US$39.5 billion.
The market appeared to react positively to the information. Man shares went up 106 pence (US$1.95) on the London Stock Exchange, to 1,462 pence, during the day of the meeting. But the stock is down from earlier in the year (see ).
*Man Group plc is a minority investor in HedgeWorld.
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