Man Group plc (Man Group) is an alternative investment management business initially founded as a sugar cooperage and brokerage by James Man in 1783. It provides a range of funds for institutional and private investors globally and is the worlds largest publicly traded hedge fund company, reporting $78.1 billion in funds under management as of March 2015. The firm is headquartered at Riverbank House in London and employs over 1,000 people in various locations worldwide. The company is a noted sponsor of the arts and charitable initiatives, including the Man Booker Prize and the Man Charitable Trust. In recent years the firm has made several acquisitions as part of its strategy to diversify the business, particularly in the United States. These acquisitions including Man Numeric, a quantitative equity manager. The firm has also seen a shift towards institutional clients and, with its 2016 acquisition of Aalto and launch of Man Global Private Markets (Man GPM), a move into private markets. The company was founded by James Man in 1783 as a sugar cooperage and brokerage, based in Harp Lane in Billingsgate. The following year Man Group won the contract to supply the Royal Navy with the rum for its daily "rum tot", a tradition under which all sailors were allocated a daily rum ration. This tradition continued until 1970, with Man Group holding the contract throughout the entire period. The company further expanded from sugar and rum into other commodities such as coffee and cocoa. The company traded as a commodities business throughout the 19th and 20th century, gradually diversifying into financial services following the advent of financial exchanges to hedge commodity exposures.