(Corrects Aalto assets under management to $1.7 bln, not $1.3 bln, in 7th paragraph and adds initial deal value)
* Funds under management hit $80.7 bln in Sept. quarter
* Net inflows $1.3 bln; helped by gains for GLG, Numeric
* Buys real-assets manager Aalto; plans $100 mln buyback
By Simon Jessop
LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Man Group, the world’s biggest listed hedge fund, said demand for its quantitative strategies and market gains pushed quarterly funds under management up 6 percent.
Total assets at end-September were $80.7 billion, up from $76.4 billion at the end of June, with investment gains of $2.5 billion driven by a good performance for its discretionary equity unit GLG and systematic equity unit Numeric.
The firm also signalled it plans to invest more in real assets such as property through its acquisition of U.S. and Europe-based real asset focused investment manager Aalto for an undisclosed sum.
Man’s net inflows in the quarter were $1.3 billion, it said, buoyed by demand from institutional clients for its quantitative funds and fund of funds.
In a quarter where many asset managers have reported positive currency benefits, given a slide in the value of sterling after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Man said it had little effect on its assets.
“In a difficult market environment, we are pleased to report a $4.3 billion increase in funds under management,” new Chief Executive Luke Ellis said, adding that the period had been particularly tough for trend-following strategies.
Separately, the firm said it had agreed to buy Aalto, which currently manages $1.7 billion in assets, for an initial $25 million in cash and shares, and would launch Man Global Private Markets to further diversify its product range.
The new unit would focus on developing strategies across markets such as real estate, credit and infrastructure, it said.
Man also said it intended to buy back up to $100 million of its shares and would continue to review further acquisitions. (Reporting by Simon Jessop and Sinead Cruise; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and David Goodman)