Under-fire Man takes more pain amid anger over pay

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The Independent Online

The struggling hedge fund giant Man Group became the latest blue chip to face an investor revolt over pay yesterday, as the latest evidence of the firm's stumbling performance sent shares tumbling again.

Its chief executive Peter Clarke is clinging on to his job after recent reports that impatient shareholders have given him nine months to turn the ship around. But another $1bn (£617m) pulled out of the firm in the first quarter of 2012 failed to help his cause.

Following a high-profile revolt over pay at Barclays last week, investors fired another broadside yesterday, with 15 per cent of votes failing to back Man's remuneration report.

Mr Clarke's pay package raised eyebrows as according to the firm's annual report, he picked up a $1m salary and $2m in bonus and deferred shares for 2011, as well as $4m in shares to be awarded depending on performance.

Investors seemed to back him for the time being, with 99 per cent of shareholders voted for his reappointment despite a 60 per cent fall in the shares over the past six months. Shares fell again 5.4 per cent yesterday, down 5.6p to 97.9p.

Shareholders instead reserved their ire for non-executive director Alison Carnwath, who faced abig revolt last week over her rolein approving Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond's £17.7m pay package.

Although Man Group chairman Jon Aisbitt defended her "valuable contribution", 33 per cent failed to back her reappointment. Sources reported investor concerns over her independence after more than a decade on the board.

While the group's overall outflows were lower than the previous quarter, Man still saw sales of $3.1bn overtaken by investors pulling out $4.1bn. Mr Clarke said: "Investor sentiment remained fragile and we are yet to see an increase in sales."

Shore Capital's Owen Jones said: "The catalyst for a turnaround, in our view, would have been net inflows to the group and/or significant stemming of outflows – neither of which have been delivered."