Luke Ellis, BSc Economics and Mathematics

CEO, Man Group

What’s your career path been since you graduated from Bristol?

I knew I wanted to work in the City from an early age, so I only applied for City jobs after Bristol. I initially joined Nomura in their graduate program, where I worked in the Swaps group for 18 months. I then switched to a company called Pru Global Funding for 18 months before getting recruited by JPMorgan for their Swaps group. After a couple of years there, the firm asked me to run and grow its Global Equity Derivatives business and build an Equity Proprietary Trading business, which I did for nearly eight years.

I took a refreshing hiatus and then joined my original boss at Nomura in building a Fund of Hedge Funds business called Financial Risk Management (FRM), which grew from $50 million AUM to $15 billion AUM and one was one of the 10 largest Fund of Hedge Funds in the world.

After a career break I joined Man Group, first to build out the firm’s Fund of Funds business (Man Group actually bought FRM in 2012 and merged it into Man Group) and then in various roles including President and now CEO, a role I’ve been in for the past four years.

Could you briefly describe you current role?

I am CEO of Man Group, a large UK listed asset management company that is one of the top five largest Hedge Fund managers in the world, and one of the most successful quantitative fund managers globally. The firm manages 113.1 billion in AUM, across alternative and long-only portfolios, and spanning liquid and private markets.

As CEO, I lead the firm’s Executive Committee, working with teams across investment, distribution, technology and infrastructure, while seeking to deliver the right outcomes for clients and positioning Man Group to adapt to opportunities as markets evolve.

What have been your career highlights and lowlights?

I have immensely enjoyed my career; it’s hard to choose highlights and lowlights as everything has been a path to get me to where I am today. I can certainly say that running Man Group is the most enjoyable role and I have been lucky to have this opportunity in my career. Rather than worrying about highlights and lowlights, I believe in always looking forward at what I can do to be more successful tomorrow and spend no time looking back at what might have been, as you can’t change anything in the past.

How has what you learnt at Bristol helped you in your career?

My career has required me to understand financial markets and their patterns - a combination of economics and maths which turned out to be perfect preparation for my chosen career. One of the features of running some very quantitative businesses over the years is that I have had to manage a couple of hundred PHDs in quantitative subjects, and that would not be possible if I wasn’t confident in my understanding of mathematical techniques.

What did you enjoy most about studying Economics and Maths at the University of Bristol?

The National Trust Coffee House in the corner of the square where the Economics department was situated.

Luke Ellis, BSc Economics and Mathematics alumnus
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