Man Group's Lagrange takes on Asia chairman role

LONDON Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:45am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Man Group (EMG.L) has appointed star manager Pierre Lagrange to the newly created role of chairman of Man Asia, as the world's largest listed hedge fund manager seeks to boost its presence in the region.

Man also hired David Mercurio from the Government of Singapore Investment Corp GIC.L, where he was a senior portfolio manager, to another new position as Head of Asia Equity, Man said in a statement on Monday.

Lagrange, who will spend one week a month in Asia, will continue to manage GLG's global long only and short equity portfolios out of London, Man said.

Man Group manages more than $70 billion in assets and a quarter of its funds under management came from Asia-Pacific at end-March.

Strong demand in Japan for an open-ended version of Man's flagship computer-driven fund AHL helped the hedge fund boast stronger than expected first-quarter inflows earlier this year.

"These appointments signal the importance of Asia to the future development of Man. We are already extremely well represented in terms of trading, sales and distribution in Asia and we are determined to increase our investment management capabilities in the region, specifically in China," Chief Executive Peter Clarke said in a statement.

49-year old Lagrange, who recently sold his mansion in London for 90 million pounds, joined Man along with GLG co-CEOs Emmanuel Roman and Noam Gottesman after the acquisition last year of GLG by Man Group.

Mercurio will also take on the role of co-Head of Global Equity Strategies and report to Lagrange based primarily out of Man's Hong Kong office.

(Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Sinead Cruise and Helen Massy-Beresford)

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