Search This Blog

2 Apr 2007

Hedge Fund To Separate Brokerage Arm to New York

Top ten hedge fund firm Man Group said on Friday it is considering splitting off its brokerage arm into a new £2 billion ($3.9 billion) company. The de-merger would separate its U.S. brokerage unit and list it in New York.

Man group has funds under management of more than $61 billion as of January. The listing of a majority interest in the unit, Man Financial, will take place in the third quarter of 2007, subject to market conditions remaining favorable, the firm said. It will be renamed MF Global following the separation, which is subject to shareholder approval, and net proceeds will be returned to shareholders later in the year.

A Man Group spokesman said; "Man regularly reviews the structure of its business, in line with our commitment to achieve superior returns for our shareholders...... Separation will allow each business to focus even more effectively on their separate growth strategies and take advantage of the significant business development opportunities in each of their industries."

Man Group, best-known for its hedge fund activities, believes its brokerage business is being overlooked and would be worth far more as a separate company. Man Financial's Managing Director Kevin Davis will become CEO of the new group. Chris Smith will be chief operating officer and deputy CEO, while Amy Butte will be chief financial officer. The non-executive chairman will be Alison Carnwath.

French Candidate Disapproves of Hedge Fund Strategies

French Interior Minister and presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy criticized hedge funds as an example of undesirable speculation, saying he didn't approve of companies...."that buy up a company, sell it off in pieces, sack 25% of the staff in the meantime, collect 25% profit and create zero wealth."

Sarkozy said, "I don't want a speculative capitalism. I want a capitalism that creates riches." He added that a second topic for European debate would be "moralizing" the region's model of financial capitalism. Speaking during a television debate he argued that a weaker Euro should be a tool to help European industry: "We've built the second currency in the world and we're the only region in the world that obstinately refuses to put our currency to the service of jobs and growth. It can't last," he said.

Sarkozy is widely viewed by admirers as France's best hope for economic reform, but he has sought to temper a reputation for unpopular liberalism by emphasizing the role of the state and leaping to the defense of French industrial champions. In common with other French politicians, he has also called repeatedly for a change in the European Central Bank's mandate, to include growth and jobs among its criteria when setting interest rates.

On Sunday, he accepted that those demands, requiring unanimous agreement, were unrealistic. But said that if elected, he would ask his finance minister to call a Eurogroup meeting with Eurozone colleagues to discuss exchange rate strategy and "convince our partners to move forward."