Pity the poor quants at Man Group

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Man Group is hiring this year! It’s on course to strip out £270m in costs by 2015, has removed over 530 front office staff in the last two years and has moved into a smaller space within its London HQ in Riverbank House and yet expansion is on the cards in 2014.

Before the beleaguered teams of quants within Man Group’s AHL division start hoping for a reprieve, this recruitment will be focused on GLG employees. GLG will continue to “look for high calibre investment talent” during 2014, the hedge fund said in its Q4 results released today, and this follows a period when it’s already been hiring people for its European long-short strategy.

Quant funds have had a torrid time over the last three years, and investors pulled a combined $4.9bn in the final three months of 2013 alone, according to Hedge fund Research. At AHL, the number of regulated employees in the UK has dropped from 99 in March to 79 at the beginning of 2014. At GLG Partners LP, meanwhile, this figure has gone from 105 in January 2013, to 113 now.

The shift in power towards GLG’s funds is no surprise considering the fact that Manny Roman – who formerly led GLG before its takeover by Man Group – has been in the top job since February 2013. However, while AUM across Man’s quant funds decreased by a net $1.6bn last year, GLG’s increased by $900m (despite redemptions of $4.9bn).

Pay figures also point to keeping the talent in GLG happy at the expense of others in the organisation. Salary costs at Man Group slid by $35m last year, to $163m, but variable compensation was $227m – compared to $194m in 2012 on the back of higher performance fee payouts. GLG’s traders would have been used to bigger bonuses and would have no shortage of employment options in hedge funds elsewhere currently should they feel under-paid.

Generally, though, Man Group has been shrinking – despite the acquisition of FRM in 2012. It now employs 1,115 people – admittedly still a huge figure compared to its hedge fund peers – down from 1,876 in 2011. In the front office, 532 people have departed over the past two years, while 583 in back office functions have also left.

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