The Man Group, London’s biggest hedge fund, has scrapped bonuses for its top executives, in the first sign that the City debate over pay has spilled over into the freewheeling hedge fund industry.
While bankers and their bonuses have been in the sights of shareholders, politicians and regulators for some time, most hedge funds have until now dodged scrutiny.
Peter Clarke, Man’s recently-departed chief executive, is to receive no bonus payment for 2012 after picking up a $7m pay package in 2011. In 2008, his first year as CEO of the company, he was paid as much as $27m.
Nor will Mr Clarke, who presided over a 20 per cent fall in the company’s share price last year and resigned in December, receive a severance pay-off.
Man’s new chief executive, Emmanuel “Manny” Roman, will also not receive a bonus for his work last year as Man’s chief operating officer. A former Goldman Sachs banker, Mr Roman collected tens of millions in annual bonuses while chief executive of GLG Partners, the rival hedge fund acquired by Man in 2010.
The slashed compensation figures are due to be revealed in Man’s annual report, which is to be published next week. A copy of the report was seen by the Financial Times.
Other executives hit by the curbs include Kevin Hayes, the highest paid FTSE 100 finance director in 2009. Mr Hayes will receive no bonus for 2012.
Man’s new finance director, 34-year-old Jonathan Sorrell, will receive no cash bonus for 2012 but is in line for a $1.5m deferred share award.
While the bonus payments are awarded by Man’s compensation committee, one insider said Mr Roman was a driving force behind the company’s new “hair shirt” approach.
“I believe the board made the right move, based upon the company’s financial and share price performance,” said Peter Lenardos, analyst at RBC. “It should be well-received by the market and should help repair the relationship between the company and investors.”
Some Man shareholders have been furious that the company’s generous executive awards have continued despite its underperformance.
Leading hedge fund managers are often paid bonuses many times larger than those awarded to bankers.
Mr Clarke took $7m in pay in 2011, even as Man’s shares fell 60 per cent. In the same year, Barclay’s boss Bob Diamond was awarded £6.3m while Steven Hester, the chief executive of RBS collected just £1.2m. Between them the two men ran organisations employing close to 300,000 people, compared to 1,400 at Man.
Man is also poised to introduce a new remuneration code for its top staff based closely on the performance of its underlying funds. In the future, 80 per cent of executive directors’ remuneration will be automatically linked to the performance of Man’s underlying funds and fee income from them.
Man declined to comment.