UPDATE 2-Fund manager Man Group predicts increasing inflows

* Reports first-quarter net inflows of $600 mln

* Alternative strategies perform strongly (Adds analyst, writes through)

April 16 (Reuters) - Man Group expects positive engagement with clients to attract increased fund investment in the coming quarters, it said on Friday as it reported net inflows of $600 million over the past three months.

The UK-listed fund manager’s alternative strategies offering, which aims to provide diversification to conventional assets, drew in $800 million. However, long-only strategies were hit by pandemic-led uncertainty, resulting in net outflows of $200 million.

JP Morgan analysts, who noted that the first-quarter performance was strong across different strategies, estimated net inflows over the rest of the year at $3.5 billion, making for full-year expectations of $4.1 billion.

The company’s overall funds under management climbed to $127 billion by the end of March, from $123.6 billion at Dec. 31.

“This reflects both investment gains for our clients and continuing net inflows and underscores the strength of our business model,” said Chief Executive Luke Ellis.

Man Group last month set a higher dividend for 2020 in light of a recovery in the second half of the year even as overall core earnings dropped.

“It has been some time since the company expressed such confidence and it is a welcome sign,” said Panmure analyst Rae Maile.

“We have long supported the company’s efforts to tilt its exposure to institutional mandates with greater client longevity, but evidence of success in this strategy with respect to net flow delivery has been harder won.” (Reporting by Muvija M and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru Editing by Shailesh Kuber and David Goodman)