Manulife Asset Management Acquires Optique Capital Management

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    -- Asset based deal brings seasoned International Value Equity
capabilities
    to Manulife Asset Management and its John Hancock Asset Management
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TORONTO and BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2011 /CNW/ -- Manulife Asset Management has acquired the assets of Optique Capital Management, a registered investment adviser based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The acquisition closed on Friday, February 11; terms were not disclosed. As at December 31, 2010, Optique's mutual fund and separate account assets under management were approximately $800 million.

In addition, eight members of the former Optique Capital team will be joining Manulife Asset Management to form a new equity team, based in Milwaukee. The team will be led by Wendell L. Perkins, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, Margaret (Peggy) A. McKay and Edward T. Marraccini, both Managing Directors and Portfolio Managers, and will report to Christopher P. Conkey, Chief Investment Officer, Global Equities, Manulife Asset Management.

"We welcome this outstanding group of seasoned investment professionals to our firm," Mr. Conkey said. "The team will bring their disciplined, consistent, value equity philosophy and decision-making process to managing international value strategies for John Hancock Funds, through our John Hancock Asset Management division, as well as for Manulife Asset Management's institutional clients.

J-F Courville, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Asset Management, said: "We are pleased to reach this agreement with Optique Capital. This addition, together with the new U.S. Core Value team we established last month, significantly enhances the value equity capabilities we offer to our clients."

Mr. Perkins, Optique's CIO, said: "This move allows us to continue providing our investment management services to clients without change to our underlying investment philosophy or process. We are delighted to be joining a corporate culture that empowers its investment teams, while providing the resources and risk management framework that come with being part of a global leader."

Mr. Perkins has been responsible for equity research, strategy and implementation at Optique Capital and is a founding member of the management team which established Optique through the buyout of Johnson Asset Management from Johnson Financial Group in December 2007. He originally joined Johnson Asset Management in 1994. Mr. Perkins previously worked as an analyst in the Private Placement Division of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and as a credit analyst for Westinghouse Credit in Chicago. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg TV. A graduate of Colby College, he holds has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, and is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Mr. Perkins has more than 25 years of investment management experience, having spent 16 years with Optique.

Ms. McKay has been jointly responsible for overall portfolio management and equity research at Optique Capital and is also a founding member of the management team which led the buyout of Johnson Asset Management from Johnson Financial Group. She joined Johnson Asset Management in 2000. Previously, she served as Assistant Portfolio Manager at Daiwa International Capital Management and as Financial Analyst with the Royal Bank Financial Group in Toronto. Ms. McKay holds a degree in economics from McGill University, a Master of Economics from the University of British Columbia, and is a CFA charterholder. She has 17 years of professional experience, 11 of those with Optique.

Mr. Marraccini has been jointly responsible for overall portfolio management as well as equity research at Optique Capital and is a founding member of the management team which led the buyout of Johnson Asset Management. He held the same responsibilities with Johnson Asset Management. Mr. Marraccini joined the firm in 1999 as a fundamental equity analyst. He previously served as a fundamental equity analyst at Robert W. Baird & Company. He holds a Bachelor's degree in finance and accounting from the University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse and is a CFA charterholder. He has 15 years of professional experience, 12 of those with Optique.

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    About Manulife Asset Management
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Manulife Asset Management(TM) is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management and its affiliates provide 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 asset classes including equity, fixed income and alternative investments such as real estate, timber, farmland, as well as asset allocation strategies.

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    John Hancock Asset Management is a division of Manulife Asset
Management(TM).

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Manulife Asset Management has offices with full investment capabilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, it has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. It also has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay. As at December 31, 2010, assets under management were Cdn$209 billion (US$210 billion). Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at ManulifeAM.com. Prior to December 15, 2010, Manulife Asset Management was known as MFC Global Investment Management.

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    About John Hancock Funds
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The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial, John Hancock Funds manages more than $65.9 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for individual and institutional investors as at December 31, 2010.

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    About Manulife Financial
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Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients worldwide have looked 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 around the world. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were $475 billion (US$478 billion) as at December 31, 2010. The Company operates as Manulife Financial 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 Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com

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SOURCE Manulife Asset Management

For further information: Brian Carmichael, +1-617-663-4748, bcarmichael@jhancock.com Web Site: http://www.manulife.com


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