Manulife Investments Announces Mutual Fund Platform Changes

Go-forward platform to consist of Standard Life Mutual Funds and Manulife Mutual Funds which are managed by seasoned portfolio management teams.

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC 
SEHK:945 

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Manulife Investments, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited (MAML), today announced a number of proposed changes to its mutual fund lineup. The changes follow the acquisition of the Canadian-based operations of Standard Life plc completed earlier this year and are part of the continuing integration of the Standard Life Mutual Funds into the Manulife fund family. Subject to applicable regulatory and securityholder approval, Manulife Investments proposes to:

  • amalgamate the existing Standard Life and Manulife mutual fund corporations
  • change the investment objectives of certain funds
  • change the sub-advisors and portfolio managers of certain funds
  • cap certain funds to new purchases
  • implement a series of fund mergers

"These changes are the result of a careful analysis of the combined Standard Life and Manulife mutual fund platforms to create a "best of the best" mutual fund lineup," said Derek Saliba, Assistant Vice President, Mutual Fund Product. "These changes would achieve our objective of streamlining our mutual fund lineup, which is managed by seasoned portfolio management teams, while minimizing the impact to our investors. The majority of the proposed mergers will also be completed on a tax-deferred basis where the management fees investors pay will remain the same and in many cases will decrease."

Amalgamation of Standard Life Corporate Class Inc. and Manulife Investment Exchange Funds Corp. (on or about November 21, 2015)

In an effort to create a stronger mutual fund corporation and to allow for tax-deferred switching between the Standard Life corporate funds and the Manulife corporate funds, as well as tax-deferred mergers between these funds, Manulife Investments is proposing to amalgamate Standard Life Corporate Class Inc. ("SLCCI") and Manulife Investment Exchange Funds Corp., on a tax-deferred basis, into a single corporate entity (the "Corporate Amalgamation").

A special meeting will be held on November 5, 2015 for securityholders of SLCCI to vote on this matter and, subject to receipt of all necessary approvals, the Corporate Amalgamation will take place on or about November 21, 2015. The Independent Review Committee of the funds has reviewed the proposed Corporate Amalgamation and concluded that it achieves a fair and reasonable result for the impacted funds.

Investment Objective Changes

Effective on or about January 4, 2016, subject to securityholder approval, Manulife Investments will change the investment objectives for the following funds:

  • Manulife U.S. Opportunities Class
  • Manulife Value Fund
  • Standard Life Emerging Markets Dividend Fund
  • Standard Life Emerging Markets Dividend Class

A special meeting will be held on November 5, 2015 for securityholders of the above funds to vote on this matter.

Sub-advisor and Portfolio Manager Changes

Effective on or about January 4, 2016, Manulife Investments will change the sub-advisory and portfolio manager responsibilities of the funds described below.  Unless otherwise noted above, the investment objectives of these funds are not affected.

  • For Manulife U.S. Dividend Registered Fund, Manulife U.S. Dividend Class and Standard Life U.S. Dividend Growth Fund, MAML will become the Portfolio Manager. These funds will be managed by Alan Wicks, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, and his team including Jonathan Popper and Conrad Dabiet.

  • For Standard Life U.S. Monthly Income Fund, MAML will become the portfolio manager and Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC will be appointed as sub-advisor for the fund. The equity portion of this fund will be managed by Alan Wicks, Jonathan Popper and Conrad Dabiet. The fixed income portion of the fund will be managed by Howard Greene, Senior Managing Director, along with Jeffrey Given and Konstantin Kizunov.

  • For Standard Life Emerging Markets Dividend Fund and Standard Life Emerging Markets Dividend Class, Manulife Asset Management (Europe) Limited will be appointed as sub-advisor. Kathryn Langridge, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager will be appointed as lead portfolio manager for the funds.

  • For Manulife Global All Cap Focused Fund, Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC will be appointed as sub-advisor. Paul Boyne, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager and Doug McGraw, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager will be responsible for the fund's management.

  • For Manulife International Focused Fund, Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC will be appointed as sub-advisor. Wendell L. Perkins, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, and his team will be responsible for the fund's management.

  • For Manulife Global Real Estate Class, Standard Life Investments Limited (a UK company) will be appointed as sub-advisor. Svitlana Gubriy, Portfolio Manager and William Pekowitz, Portfolio Manager will be appointed as portfolio managers for the fund.

  • For Manulife Value Fund and Manulife U.S. Opportunities Class, Gary Li, Managing Director and Derivatives Portfolio Manager of Manulife Asset Management (US) LLC, will be added as a Portfolio Manager.

Fund Cappings

Standard Life U.S. Dividend Growth Fund, Manulife Global All Cap Focused Fund and Manulife International Focused Fund will be capped to new purchases (excluding existing pre-authorized chequing plans (PACs), dollar cost averaging plans (DCAs) and switches-in from Manulife Dollar-Cost Averaging Fund), as of 4:00pm ET on January 22, 2016.

Fund Mergers

Subject to receipt of required regulatory and securityholder approvals, Manulife Investments is proposing to proceed with mergers of the funds, as described in the tables below. In addition, and as noted below, each merger of a Standard Life corporate fund into a Manulife corporate fund, or vice versa, is conditional upon the approval and completion of the Corporate Amalgamation.

The Independent Review Committee of the funds has reviewed the proposed mergers and concluded that they achieve a fair and reasonable result for the impacted funds.

The proposed streamlined platform is expected to eliminate overlap and confusion for advisors and investors. Manulife Investments anticipates that the go-forward portfolio management teams will have the ability to fulfill the investment objective of the funds and act in the best interest of investors. For certain Terminating Funds, their portfolio management teams will be changed over to the teams of the corresponding Continuing Funds in advance of the mergers and this will be disclosed in the offering documents for those funds, as amended from time to time and in accordance with securities regulation.

Proposed Mergers on or about March 11, 2016:

 

Terminating Fund   Continuing Fund
     
Standard Life Tactical Bond Fund2   Manulife Canadian Bond Plus Fund
Standard Life Balanced Fund   Manulife Canadian Opportunities Balanced Fund
Standard Life Canadian Small Cap Fund2   Manulife Growth Opportunities Fund
Standard Life Canadian Bond Fund2   Manulife Bond Fund
Standard Life U.S. Equity Value Fund2   Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Fund
Standard Life U.S. Equity Value Class3   Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Class3
Manulife U.S. Large Cap Equity Fund   Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Fund
Manulife U.S. Large Cap Equity Class   Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Class
Manulife Special Opportunities Class   Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Class
Standard Life Global Equity Value Fund2   Standard Life Global Equity Fund2
Manulife Global Focused Fund   Standard Life Global Equity Fund2
Manulife Global Focused Class3   Standard Life Global Equity Class3

 

Proposed Mergers on or about April 15, 2016:

Terminating Fund   Continuing Fund
       
Standard Life Money Market Fund2   Manulife Money Fund
Standard Life Short Term Bond Fund2   Manulife Short Term Bond Fund
Standard Life Global Bond Fund+,2   Manulife Strategic Investment Grade Global Bond Fund
Standard Life Canadian Equity Fund2   Standard Life Dividend Income Fund
Manulife Global Focused Balanced Fund   Manulife Global Strategic Balanced Yield Fund
Standard Life International Equity Fund2   Manulife World Investment Fund
Standard Life European Equity Fund2   Manulife World Investment Fund
Manulife Canadian Conservative Balanced Fund   Standard Life Diversified Income Fund2
Manulife Global Real Estate Fund   Standard Life Global Real Estate Fund2
Standard Life Canadian Equity Value Fund2   Manulife Dividend Income Fund
Standard Life Canadian Equity Growth Fund2   Manulife Canadian Opportunities Fund
Standard Life High Yield Bond Fund2   Manulife High Yield Bond Fund
Standard Life Emerging Markets Debt Fund2   Manulife Emerging Markets Debt Fund

 

Proposed Mergers on or about May 27, 2016:

 

Terminating Fund   Continuing Fund
     
Standard Life Short Term Yield Class3   Manulife Short Term Yield Class3
Standard Life Corporate Bond Class*1   Standard Life Corporate Bond Fund2
Standard Life Canadian Bond Class*1   Manulife Bond Fund
Standard Life Conservative Portfolio Class1   Standard Life Conservative Portfolio 2
Standard Life Moderate Portfolio Class1   Standard Life Moderate Portfolio2
     

* This Fund was previously capped to all purchases on July 19, 2013. This Fund will be capped for existing PACs on 4:00pm ET on October 30, 2015.
+This Fund was formerly named Standard Life International Bond Fund.
1 This merger will be effected on a taxable basis.
2 Eclipse and Legend Series where applicable of this Fund will be capped effective as of 4:00 pm ET on October 30, 2015.
3 This merger is conditional upon the prior approval and completion of the Corporate Amalgamation.

 

Except as noted otherwise, each Terminating Fund will be capped to new purchases, excluding PACs, DCAs and switches-in from the Manulife Dollar-Cost Averaging Fund, as of the close of business on the Monday immediately preceding the applicable merger. Securityholders will have the right to redeem the securities of each Terminating Fund up to the close of business on the effective date of each merger. Following each merger, PACs, systematic withdrawal plans, DCAs and switches-in from the Manulife Dollar-Cost Averaging Fund, which had been established with respect to a Terminating Fund, will be re-established with respect to the applicable Continuing Fund unless a securityholder advises us otherwise.

Each Terminating Fund is intended to be wound-up or terminated on, or as soon as possible after its merger. All the mergers will be effected on a tax-deferred basis except as noted above.

Securityholder Approvals

As noted above, the Corporate Amalgamation and investment objective changes will require securityholder approval in order to proceed. Approvals by certain securityholders of the Terminating Funds and select Continuing Funds will also be required for some of the mergers described above to proceed. For mergers where securityholder approvals are not required, Terminating Fund securityholders will be provided written notice in accordance with applicable securities law.

Voting securityholders will be provided with advance notice of the changes which they will be required to approve through a Notice of Meeting and Management Information Circular that will be delivered in accordance with applicable securities laws. Any necessary securityholder approvals will be sought at special meetings to be held on or about November 5, 2015 for securityholders of record as of October 1, 2015.

Other administrative changes will also be made effective at close of business on or about November 13, 2015. Impacted parties will be notified of the details of these changes.

For more information, please visit manulifemutualfunds.ca or contact Manulife Investments at the following telephone numbers:

English: 1-888-588-7999
French: 1-877-426-9991

About Manulife Investments
Manulife Investments, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, builds on 125 years of Manulife's wealth and investment management expertise in managing assets for Canadian investors. As one of Canada's leading integrated financial services providers, Manulife Investments offers a variety of products and services including segregated fund contracts, mutual funds, annuities and guaranteed interest contracts.

About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife, providing comprehensive asset management solutions for investors. This investment expertise extends across a broad range of public and private asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. As at June 30, 2015, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately C$390 billion (US$313 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 Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions.  We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere.  We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.  At the end of 2014, we had 28,000 employees, 58,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of June 2015, we had $883 billion (US$708 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $22 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years.  With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong. Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit www.manulife.com or www.johnhancock.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation



For further information:

Media contact:
Bev MacLean
Manulife
416-852-8501
Beverley_Maclean@manulife.com
@ManulifeNews


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890