Now unhappy investors turn the heat on struggling Man Group
Wednesday 02 May 2012
The struggling hedge fund giant Man Group became the latest blue chip to face an investor revolt over pay yesterday, as fresh evidence of the firm's stumbling performance sent its 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 voting for his reappointment despite a 60 per cent fall in the shares over the last six months.
Shareholders instead reserved their ire for non-executive director Alison Carnwath, who also faced a big revolt last week over her role in approving Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond's £17.7m pay package.
Although Man's 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."
Its flagship AHL fund has lost money in two of the last three years and suffered again due to falling stock markets to stand 14 per cent below its peak at the end of March.
GLG, which Man paid $1.6bn for in 2010, weathered the tougher conditions in better shape and made money for investors – although many believe that Man overpaid.
Man shares fell another 5.5 per cent yesterday, down 5.7p to 97.8p.
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