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British hedge fund Man Group's performance fees plunge as assets slip in 2018

[LONDON] British hedge fund manager Man Group said on Friday that its assets under management fell 0.5 per cent to US$108.5 billion last year on market weakness and currency losses, sending its performance fees plunging 81 per cent.

Man Group added US$10.8 billion in new client money during the year but was hit by investment losses of US$7.7 billion and currency and other losses of US$3.7 billion.

"2018 was a more difficult year for (the) asset management industry, characterised by periods of higher volatility which impacted performance across asset classes and investment styles," CEO Luke Ellis said in a statement.

Against this backdrop, the group's adjusted performance fee profit before tax dropped to US$34 million, from US$181 million in 2017.

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Most of Man's strategies lost money in 2018, with many of the losses in its GLG discretionary trading and its computer-driven Numeric Alternatives stemming from double-digit falls in Europe and emerging markets-focused funds.

Man's computer-driven trading division AHL eked out modest gains of 2.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent in its Dimension and Alpha strategies respectively.