Luke Ellis, chief executive of the world’s largest listed hedge fund manager Man Group, is to retire and be replaced by the company’s president Robyn Grew.
Man, which has $144.7bn in assets under management, said on Thursday that Ellis would retire in September after six years in the role. Grew will become one of the few women globally to lead a large hedge fund group.
She joined Man 14 years ago and has held roles including group chief operating officer, head of ESG and general counsel. Following her appointment as chief executive, she will relocate from New York to London.
Having begun life in the sugar industry in the late 18th century, Man Group has since grown into the world’s largest listed hedge fund, with a business spanning long-only equities and alternatives strategies across liquid and private markets.
Originally known for its flagship quantitative strategy AHL, Man was transformed in 2010 when it bought GLG Partners for $1.6bn. The acquisition added discretionary hedge fund strategies — where manager skill is relied upon — to its portfolio of predominantly quant funds that depend on complex algorithms.
Ellis arrived at Man with GLG, lured back into the City after a stint as a farmer by Manny Roman, then GLG’s chief executive. Ellis was promoted to chief executive of Man in 2016.
Last year, Man reported an 18 per cent jump in profit to $779mn, driven by an increase in performance fees, much of which came from the group’s computer-driven macro funds. Client inflows for the year were $3.1bn.
Man said on Thursday that Grew had actively championed a more diverse and collaborative culture at the company. Before joining the group, she held senior positions at Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers and the then-London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange.
She takes the reins as asset managers face a radically changed world after two decades marked by record-low interest rates and quantitative easing. Higher inflation and rising interest rates have ended the bull market in stocks and squeezed profits across the industry.
Man’s own evolution over the past two decades reflects profound changes in the $3.88tn hedge fund industry. Once dominated by highly paid star managers and a client base of wealthy individuals, hedge funds increasingly manage money for pension funds, insurance companies and other big institutions.