Sorrell steps in as finance chief at Man as Hayes steps down

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Sorrell, the son of WPP advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrell, was hastily promoted to position of finance director at Man Group yesterday after the struggling hedge fund giant sought to appease shareholders by ousting incumbent Kevin Hayes.

Mr Sorrell, 34, only joined Man from the investment bank Goldman Sachs last August and faces the difficult task of regaining investor confidence and reversing the poor performance at the flagship AHL fund. He is taking over right away from Mr Hayes, who is leaving immediately after holding the role for the past five years.

Peter Clarke, inset, Man's chief executive who has been under increasing fire from investors this year, said Mr Sorrell would "bring a clear focus on costs and financial efficiency".

Man shares have lost more than 40 per cent of their value in 2012 and 70 per cent in the past year, prompting ever-louder calls from investors for a management shake-up or even a takeover of the group. Yesterday, the shares dropped out of the FTSE 100 into the FTSE 250. The shares closed up 1.6p at 74.4p yesterday.

The flagship AHL computerised trading fund lost about 2.4 per cent of its value over the past 12 months, prompting analysts to downgrade their profit forecasts for the year.

Mr Sorrell spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs – most recently driving its investments in external hedge funds. He will retain his role as Man's head of strategy and corporate finance and will not receive a pay rise for taking on the finance director role.