LONDON Shares in British hedge fund manager Man Group slid on Friday after its cautious outlook took the shine off an in-line trading statement.
The firm, founded in 1783 as a barrel maker, said it took in a net $2 billion of new money during the first quarter, mostly into its GLG alternatives unit, which partially compensated for the money pulled by investors from its FRM funds.
When combined with a net $700 million performance loss across its investments, funds under management at the end of March rose to $55 billion, from $54.1 billion at the end of December.
While sales of $6.5 billion in the quarter were the highest in three years to help chalk up a third straight quarter of net inflows, a feat last matched in the second quarter of 2008, the prospect that a weak investment performance could persist weighed on investor sentiment.
At 0703 GMT, shares in Man Group were down 1.5 percent, the third-biggest faller on the mid-cap FTSE 250.
"The market environment in the first quarter has been particularly challenging and March was a very difficult month for the industry. In this context, performance across the firm was reasonable on a relative basis," said Chief Executive Manny Roman in a statement. "Whilst we are pleased to have recorded a solid quarter of net inflows, we remain cautious in our outlook for asset flows for the rest of the year given recent mixed absolute investment performance," he added.
Performance in its AHL Diversified programme was down 2.2 percent in the quarter, while that in its GLG alternative strategies was flat. Performance at FRM, meanwhile, was positive overall and funds under management rose by $100 million.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Matt Scuffham and Clare Hutchison)