Man Group hires ex-MTV executive for China push

LONDON Mon Nov 7, 2011 10:44am GMT

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LONDON Nov 7 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Man Group has hired Yifei Li, one of China's top businesswomen, to help drive its expansion into the fast-growing economy's fledgling hedge fund industry.

Li, who has previously worked as managing director of MTV Networks Greater China and chief representative of Viacom China, takes on the role of country chair, China, Man said in a statement.

China's hedge fund industry came into being only last year when the government allowed index futures, short selling and margin trading, and domestic money managers have been rushing to roll out such products.

"This appointment signals the importance of China to Man's future development," said Man CEO Peter Clarke.

"We are already extremely well represented in terms of trading, sales and distribution in Asia and expansion in China is the natural next step."

Earlier this year Clarke said Man, which already enjoys strong sales in Japan, wanted to grow organically in Asia but would also look at joint ventures with established fund managers.

Li will work alongside star fund manager Pierre Lagrange, who was named as chairman of Man Asia in September.

Last week Man, which is the world's largest listed hedge fund manager, said clients were pulling out cash at a slower pace in October than September. (Additional reporting by Nishant Kumar in Hong Kong; Editing by Sinead Cruise and David Holmes)