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Business Analysis & Features

The business on...Emmanuel Roman, Chief operating officer, Man Group

So Mr Roman's the centurion who's swinging the knife?

So it seems. The de-facto number two at the world's biggest quoted hedge fund manager is doubling the number of job cuts Man will have made by the new year to 400 from the 200 first announced as part of a cost-cutting drive. That amounts to one in five of the workforce.

What's his background?

He's from the formerly privately owned GLG, and it's the merger between GLG and Man Group which has caused all the streamlining. Mr Roman was co-chief executive of GLG from September 2005, the year he joined the hedge fund manager from Goldman Sachs, where he started out in 1987.

He's presumably pretty bright?

Well, whatever you'd care to say about Goldman, it's extraordinarily choosy about who it hires. If you aren't a super-brain who enjoys working 24/7, don't bother applying. Prior to his entry into the world's financial elite, Mr Roman studied at the University of Paris before taking an MBA in finance and economics at the University of Chicago.

A shy and retiring type?

Au contraire. Mr Roman has some pretty strong views on the hedge fund industry and isn't shy of expressing them. He's previously said 25-30 per cent of the world's 8,000 or so hedge funds are set to disappear in a "Darwinian process". This will go down in the history books as one of "the greatest fiascos of banking in 100 years," he has said of the mushrooming number of funds, many of them set up by wannabees caught up in culls by investment banks. He expects the regulators to apply the squeeze too. That would be good news for Man Group in the long run.

I've heard it could use some help

Now then, don't be mean. On the other hand, it's true the company's shares have been on the slide since a nasty trading update on Wednesday revealed a shock fall in assets under management. The operation has lost a third of its value. People like Mr Roman tend to get twitchy when that happens given the amount of wealth they have tied up in firms they run.