Manulife Asset Management expands asset allocation capability with appointment of international head

HONG KONG, Aug. 18, 2014 /CNW/ -- Manulife Asset Management has announced the expansion of its asset allocation investment capability with the appointment of Peter Warnes as Head of Portfolio Solutions Group (PSG), International. Based in Hong Kong, Peter will work closely with his asset allocation and international sales and relationship management colleagues to meet the increasing demand for asset allocation solutions outside of North America.

Michael Dommermuth, President, International Asset Management, Manulife Asset Management, welcomed Peter to the team and explained that, "Demand for asset allocation investment solutions is growing remarkably across Asia as constituent populations are aging rapidly and responsibility for retirement income security is increasingly shifting from the state to individuals.

"Our Aging Asia series of research suggests that Asian households allocate more than 50% of their financial assets to bank deposits. With bank deposits providing negative real returns across most of the region, many individual investors see the potential for mixed-asset investment solutions to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns, helping to build retirement savings or providing a recurring income stream to supplement other sources of household income during retirement. On the institutional side, we anticipate considerable demand from institutions looking for tailored asset allocation solutions to support long-term liabilities."

Since establishing an Asian presence for PSG two years ago, Manulife Asset Management has built a solid foundation for providing multi-asset solutions across the region. The company has gained significant traction in Asia, where it now has over US$5.9 billion in asset allocation assets under management1 for clients which include sovereign wealth and pension funds as well as retail clients. Various retail mixed-asset investment products have been launched in markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Macau under pension schemes and on mutual fund and insurance-linked platforms.

In addition to his portfolio management responsibilities, Peter will set the strategic direction for continuing this encouraging growth for Manulife Asset Management's international business. He will join the company's Global Asset Allocation Committee and interface closely with peers on the global PSG team, which includes more than 20 asset allocation professionals and has more than US$119 billion in assets under management1.

Barry Evans, CIO, Global Asset Allocation, explained, "Peter is a valuable addition to Manulife Asset Management's asset allocation capability. He brings with him almost 25 years of investment experience in Asia and Europe. This gives him a high degree of insight into the needs of institutional and retail clients in these markets."

Peter will join Manulife Asset Management effective 18 August 2014. He was previously with JP Morgan Asset Management, where he worked in both the Asia and London offices developing and managing global equity and global multi-asset investment portfolios. Previous to this he worked with Invesco Asset Management after having begun his career at Sun Alliance Investment Management in London. He contributed to the asset allocation process with each of these companies.

About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife, providing comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a broad range of public and private asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. As at 30 June 2014, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately US$281 billion. Manulife Asset Management's public markets units have investment expertise across a broad range of asset classes including public equity and fixed income, and asset allocation strategies.  Offices with full investment capabilities are located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, Manulife Asset Management has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. The public markets units of Manulife Asset Management also provide investment management services to affiliates' retail clients through product offerings of Manulife and John Hancock. John Hancock Asset Management and Declaration Management and Research are units of Manulife Asset Management. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management may be found at ManulifeAM.com.

About Manulife
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife and its subsidiaries were approximately US$597 billion as at 30 June 2014. Our group of companies operates as Manulife in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

1 As of 30 June 2014.

SOURCE Manulife Asset Management

For further information: Beth McGoldrick, Manulife Asset Management, 617 663 4751, Beth_mcgoldrick@manulifeam.com, http://www.manulifeam.com