The Morning Brief: Man CEO Roman to Take Top Job at Pimco

Big move for Emmanuel (Manny) Roman: The CEO of London-based asset management conglomerate Man Group is jumping to Newport Beach, California-based bond fund giant Pimco, where he will take over as the company’s chief executive on November 1. Pimco manages $1.5 trillion in assets.

Roman, a 30-year veteran of financial services, has long been a fixture in the hedge fund industry. He was a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he held various roles including co-head of worldwide global securities, before joining London-based discretionary asset management firm GLG. Roman was co-CEO of GLG at the time of Man Group’s acquisition of the firm in 2010 and then became COO of Man before rising to CEO in 2013. Man Group announced it will appoint current president Luke Ellis, another longtime hedge fund industry executive, to the CEO role.

The erudite Roman — known as a voracious speed-reader, wine aficiondo and tough, no-nonsense executive — is credited with reviving Man Group’s sagging fortunes. When he took the CEO job, Man had been struggling to contain outflows in its flagging AHL systematic fund, which at the time comprised the majority of its assets. Roman tapped Sandy Rattray to take over AHL and improve its models, slashed costs and simultaneously made a string of acquisitions of other asset management firms to diversify Man Group’s assets. The firm managed $78.6 billion in assets at the end of the first quarter.

Roman will face a similarly tough task at Pimco, which has been working to reverse asset outflows that began when its famous, and famously eccentric, co-founder Bill Gross left the firm in 2014. Roman will replace Douglas Hodge, who will stay with the firm as a managing director and senior adviser.


Daniel Och’s New York-based Och-Ziff Capital Management said in a regulatory filing that its OZ Management fund has purchased 903,650 shares, or a 6.024 percent stake, in M III Acquisition Corp., a blank-check company that was formed earlier this month to make acquisitions. The stake was announced in a 13G filing, meaning it is passive.


Kenneth Griffin’s Chicago-based Citadel is hiring 17 portfolio managers from Jacob Gottlieb’s scandal-wracked Visium Asset Management, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the situation. The hires would potentially derail Visium’s planned announcement to sell its remaining fund to AllianceBernstein, according to the report, though the transaction may still go through. Gottlieb began winding down Visium last month after two people at the firm pleaded guilty to insider trading and another partner was indicted, along with a U.S. government official. The third partner, Sanjay Valvani, was found dead of an apparent suicide last month. Gottlieb is liquidating its flagship fund and had agreed to sell its Visium Global Fund to AllianceBernstein.


In a conference call for investors in Pershing Square Holdings, the publicly traded investment vehicle operated by Bill Ackman’s $15 billion Persing Square Capital Management, Ackman reiterated his dim view of Herbalife, saying he’s still short the company despite its settlement last week with the Federal Trade Commission (which Herbalife boosters considered a victory). In the call, Ackman reportedly told investors that he is still short Herbalife and that despite the fact that the FTC did not explicitly call Herbalife a pyramid scheme in the $200 million settlement agreement, the changes it’s forcing Herbalife to implement are so draconian that the company ultimately will not survive.

“Herbalife has actually been shut down by the FTC, they just haven’t realized it,” he reportedly told investors on the call.

Ackman also said that his fund is not experiencing heavy redemptions despite its lousy performance this year — it’s off about 20 percent so far this year and fell 20.5 percent last year — because “we benefit from a very stable capital base and that’s because our investors have been incredibly supportive of us.”


Chicago-based data tracker HFR said total hedge fund assets climbed $42.06 trillion in the second quarter, bringing the industry total to $2.98 trillion through the end of June. That’s the third-highest quarterly asset increase ever, according to the data tracker, which says the industry’s assets peaked a year ago at $2.969 trillion. Outflows fell from $15 billion in the first quarter to $8.2 billion in the second quarter. The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index gained 2 percent in the second quarter.