Jonathan Sorrell, the president of Man Group PLC, has sold half his shares in the hedge fund giant, earning him around £ 800,000.

Mr. Sorrell, the son of advertising firm WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell, sold nearly 640,000 shares at just over 125 pence each on Thursday, according to an announcement by the company. He continues to hold close to 600,000 shares, according to calculations by The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Sorrell declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Man declined to comment.

The sale comes at a time of transition forMan, which runs $80.7 billion in assets. Manny Roman, who had been trying to turn around the firm's fortunes as chief executive, left at the end of August to become CEO of U.S. bond giant Pacific Investment Management Co.

Man's flagship computer-driven fund AHL Diversified, which was one of the world's best-performing hedge funds in 2014, is down 10.1% this year. Like many such funds it has been hit by reversals in markets.

Mr. Sorrell, a former Goldman Sachs banker who took over as finance director in 2012, was promoted to president in June. One of the first acts by new CEO Luke Ellis in September was to give Mr. Sorrell responsibility for Man's sales, corporate strategy, and mergers and acquisitions.

Executives' shareholdings tend to fluctuate as they receive shares from previous years' remuneration. Mr. Sorrell held just under 600,000 shares earlier this year, but this roughly doubled because of an award from a previous year. Hiscurrent holding is slightly above the amount of shares he held earlier this year.

Write to Laurence Fletcher at laurence.fletcher@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2016 14:45 ET (19:45 GMT)

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