Man Group names Sir Martin Sorrell's son Jonathan as finance chief to sooth investors


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The Independent Online

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

Mr Sorrell, 34, joined Man from the investment bank Goldman Sachs only 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 immediately from Mr Hayes, who has held the role for the past five years.

Peter Clarke, 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.

The flagship AHL computerised trading fund has 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. Mr Hayes is expected to get a one year pay-off.

Last year his base salary was $625,000 (£400,000) but bonuses and share awards pushed the total up to $2.4m.