Man prepares Asian long/short team in Hong Kong

Pierre Lagrange, chairman of the Asian operations of Man Group in Asia, has assembled a long/short equities team focused on the region in Hong Kong, building on the group’s presence in the region stretching back almost 20 years.

Lagrange’s work comes on top of Man already doubling the number of staff it had in Asia for its computer-driven AHL fund.

Man has offices in Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney, and by last August chief executive Peter Clarke was forecasting growth in Asia for his company.

“I suspect others will also seek to do that. It’s not straightforward, but it is something that is very likely to happen.”

The newly assembled equities team based in Hong Kong will be co-managed by David Mercurio, head of Asia equity and co-head of global equity strategies, and Ben Freischmidt, a risk specialist.

Mercurio joined from the Government of Singapore Investment Corp in September, Freischmidt joined in March from having founded Singapore-based manager LionRock Capital.

The team will also have four sector specialists: David Walsh, specialising in Industrials, Nick Vidale in financials and Sahil Khanna in consumer and TMT. Carl Esprey, a materials specialist, will work in London.

Lagrange (pictured) said the environment in Asia today appears as Europe did when GLG began its flagship European long/short strategy 11 years ago.

Mercurio said he had spent the past year “focused on getting the right team in place…in the region. We look forward to delivering absolute returns for investors through a targeted approach of alpha generation for the Asian region.”

The stock pickers in the team will run independent books to generate absolute returns, but also to protect capital via risk management. Risk management will apply to each book individually, and overall.

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