Man Group to sell off brokerage business

London-based hedge fund and broker Man Group plans to sell its brokerage arm, Man Financial, later this year.

In an announcement, the company said Man Financial would be separated from the rest of the group and renamed MF Global. The remainder of the firm will focus wholly on asset management.

If market conditions allow, an initial public offering for a majority stake in MF Global will be conducted on the New York Stock Exchange during the third quarter of 2007.

Peter Clarke, chief executive of Man Group, noted the spin-off would allow the asset management and brokerage companies to concentrate more effectively on their businesses and to take advantage of the significant opportunities in their industries.

Clarke, who was formerly Man Group's chief financial officer, took over as chief executive after Stanley Fink stood down to become non-executive deputy chairman. His old position has been filled by Kevin Hayes, who joins from Lehman Brothers. Hayes was global head for process and productivity at Lehman, having previously also served as its chief financial officer for Europe and Asia.

Under the divestment plan, Man Financial’s current chief executive, Kevin Davis, will become chief executive of MF Global. Chris Smith will become the new firm’s chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, and Amy Butte will continue as its chief financial officer. Alison Carnwath, currently an independent non-executive director of Man Group, will become MF Global’s non-executive chairman.

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