Man Group raises £446m for new hedge fund

The hedge fund group Man Group raised a record $740m (£446m) yesterday for its latest product - a fund that guarantees investors won't lose their initial investment.

The fund, called Man AP Unison Series 1, was aimed mainly at private clients. It is targeting returns of 14-16 per cent a year and guarantees investors will, at the very least, get back what they paid in so long as they stick with the fund until 2015.

The latest $740m fundraising surpassed even the $725m that Man Group got for its Man Multi-Strategy Series 5 fund earlier this year - its biggest previous launch.

Stanley Fink, the chief executive, said: "The record $740m raised for this product offering demonstrates the continuing high level of demand for Man's investment products. This is underpinned by our strong investment track record, attractive product design and effective distribution network."

Hedge funds - which can make money whether stock markets rise or fall by buying or "selling short" shares respectively - have become more popular with investors over the last few years since stock markets have plunged.

That feature helped Mr Fink rake in a bumper pay package of £3.8m last year, making him one of the highest paid members of the FTSE 100 index. Last year, Man Group's pre-tax profits rose by 54 per cent to £297m.

City analysts were impressed yesterday not only by the amount of cash raised but also by the fact that it was raised during a period when stock markets have staged something of a recovery.

Analysts at UBS said: "It is interesting to note that demand for fund sales has not appeared to be hampered by the recent rally in equities. This product was launched at the beginning of May and closed at the end of June - a period during which the equity market went up by about 5 per cent."

Man Group also said its next launch will be the Man Global Strategies Diversified product, which will be open for investment on 25 August.

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