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Money managers under the microscope

Long-haired Lagrange brings star culture to Man

May 25, 2010

In our investor profile of GLG’s Pierre Lagrange, we highlight two very different sides of London’s hedge fund industry and a potential culture clash in Man Group’s surprise takeover of GLG this month.

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REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

In many ways, Lagrange symbolises the informal, star manager culture that GLG has based its growth on (although also suffered from after Greg Coffey’s departure and Philippe Jabre’s FSA fine).

Being neighbours with Lakshmi Mittal, and a backer of both comic book action film Kick Ass and a modern art gallery, the long-haired Belgian may find being part of Man Group something of a culture shock.

Man is dominated by its black box AHL fund and has always avoided the star manager culture in its multi-manager unit.

CEO Peter Clarke is a smartly-dressed ex-finance director, not a fund manager.

But with AHL still struggling, even as the hedge fund industry as a whole recovers, Man may have felt it needed more strings to its bow.

GLG, for its part, saw big outflows in the credit crisis and Man offers it access to an enormous global sales force. As Lagrange told me, “bigger is better for us”.

Economic realities may well help support a marriage of convenience.

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