Man Group CEO Says Fighting Day Traders Is Like Playing Poker

A stock market surge fueled by day traders has been tough even for the world’s largest publicly listed hedge fund firm, which is learning how to make money out of the “new player” in the trading world.

“It’s hard to play poker with someone you haven’t seen before,” Luke Ellis, chief executive officer of Man Group Plc, said on Wednesday at the Bloomberg Invest Global virtual conference.

Ellis said the stock market rebound from March lows, mainly in the U.S., has been driven by greater participation of retail investors.

“It’s been tough for us in the first few weeks of that activity because it’s a new player in the market that we haven’t seen for maybe 10 years and it’s a significant player,” he said.

There has been unprecedented talk about a greater number of retail investors in the market, fueled in part by zero-fee trading accounts. While Wall Street heavyweights are sounding alarm about rising stock values even as the global pandemic rages on, companies preferred by retail investors are beating those liked by hedge funds and mutual funds, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

— With assistance by Erik Schatzker

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