TORONTO and BOSTON, Dec. 22, 2014 /CNW/ -- As 2014 draws to a close, Manulife Asset Management, the investment management arm of Manulife, is experiencing another strong year featuring global sales and asset growth, expanded investment capabilities and thought leadership. Year-to-date direct institutional gross sales reached C$5.9 billion, as of September 30, 2014.* Long-term investment performance continued to be a differentiator for the firm, with the significant majority of public asset classes again outperforming their benchmarks on a 1, 3, and 5-year basis.**
"The year saw several important milestones for our firm, as we furthered our growth as a premier asset manager by leveraging our strong brand, investment management performance, expanded operations, and global client base," said Warren A. Thomson, Chairman.
"With C$309 billion in assets under management, including a record C$266 billion managed for external clients,* Manulife Asset Management is wrapping up another exceptional year," said Kai R. Sotorp, President and CEO, who in July was appointed to lead the firm. "We look forward to winning new business in 2015, confident in our investment teams' performance, and with enthusiasm to serve the needs of our many clients globally."
New institutional sales in 2014 included:
- U.S. Large Cap Core Strategy mandates with new clients in the U.S., China, Germany and South Korea
- Global Equity Strategy mandates in the UK and Japan
- Asia Small Cap Equity Strategy mandates in Canada
- First institutional Asia Equity offshore separate account mandate in Malaysia
- Strategic Fixed Income Strategy mandates with new clients in the U.S., Canada and Japan
- Canadian Long Duration and Core Plus fixed income mandates in Canada
- Total Return Bond Strategy mandates in the U.S.
Asia net sales from institutional and sub-advisory clients globally, including large sovereign wealth funds, exceeded $2 billion.*
Indeed, in May 2014, the firm's asset growth was recognized by Pensions & Investments. Manulife Asset Management was ranked among the world's largest money managers, moving into the 30th spot for 2014 from 34th in 2013, based on institutional assets under management worldwide, as of December 31, 2013.
Manulife Asset Management Private Markets launched last year, extending its investment expertise to institutional investors in several private asset classes including: commercial real estate, commercial mortgages, private debt, timberland and farmland, biomass renewable energy, oil and gas, and mezzanine debt.
New institutional sales in 2014 include:
- U.S. commercial real estate mandate with a large European insurance company to co-invest up to $1 billion
- $200 million forestry joint venture with MASISA closed in Chile
- $100 million private commercial mortgages mandate on behalf of an institutional investor
- Launch of a Canadian private debt fund
- Multiple Canadian real estate mandates for Manulife Canadian Property Portfolio, bringing assets under management to $885 million
"We've had a tremendous year of growth, leveraging our longstanding experience in private markets to work with investors to provide unique opportunities to meet their investment goals," said Kevin Adolphe, President & CEO of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets. "We look forward to continuing to build on our momentum through new long term partnerships in 2015."
Agreement to acquire Canadian operations of Standard Life plc
In the third quarter, Manulife announced that it had entered into agreement to acquire the Canadian operations of Standard Life plc. The acquisition is expected to broaden the range of asset management products and solutions available in Canada and around the globe. Subject to receipt of all necessary approvals, the transaction is anticipated to close Q1 2015.
Expanded Investment Resources
The firm announced it will be adding a new Global Emerging Markets Equity portfolio management team. Kathryn Langridge and Philip Ehrmann will join the organization, effective December 31, 2014 and January 8, 2015, respectively. Ms. Langridge will be Senior Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, and Head of Global Emerging Markets Equity. Mr. Ehrmann will be Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, supporting Ms. Langridge. Following FCA regulatory approval, they will manage a global emerging markets equity strategy for institutional clients and certain wealth management businesses of Manulife and John Hancock.
In October, the firm announced the appointment of Megan E. Greene as Managing Director and Chief Economist, responsible for forecasting global macro-economic and financial trends and analyzing the potential opportunities and impacts to support the firm's investment teams around the world. She is part of the Portfolio Solutions Group (PSG), which specializes in global asset allocation portfolio management.
PSG also expanded its capabilities geographically with the August addition of Peter Warnes as Head of Portfolio Solutions Group, International, to help meet the growing demand for asset allocation solutions outside of North America. Based in Hong Kong, Mr. Warnes leads a team of four asset allocation professionals in Asia managing more than US$5.9 billion* in assets for institutional and retail clients.
Manulife Asset Management added to its global investment capabilities in June by naming Craig Bethune, CFA, and Diana M. Racanelli, CFA, as Portfolio Managers on a new Global Natural Resources Equity team. They co-lead the team and report to Christopher Conkey, Global Chief Investment Officer, Manulife Asset Management.
Global Thought Leadership
Accessible at www.ManulifeAM.com, Manulife Asset Management's thought leadership program continued to provide insights on global opportunities throughout 2014:
- The first research report in the Investment Insight series, entitled "Omnichannel: A reason for investors to re-think retail?" examines the emergence of onmichannel retailing, which allows customers to buy retail goods online, by visiting a store, or by various combinations of physical and virtual shopping.
- The paper "Emerging Markets — Refocusing on Reform" encourages investors in emerging economies to look for new signs of structural reform in 2015 after a recent surge in election activity. A fresh focus on reform could lead to new investment opportunities in the credit and sovereign debt markets of countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey.
- The interactive Inflation Guide features animated videos summarizing forecast inflation in major markets around the world, and explains why inflation matters to companies and investors.
- The publications "Abenomics: Implications for interest rate strategy" and "Abenomics: Implications for credit strategy" continued a series of research reports designed to help investors navigate Japan's fixed income market under Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's unprecedented economic stimulus policy.
- The continued opening of China's onshore bond market, Asia's largest and most rapidly growing (ex-Japan), remained in focus with the publication of "China's shadow banking system: Orderly defaults ahead," "The Great Upgrade: Fixed income opportunities as China approaches the Lewis Turning Point" and "Chinese bonds: From passive to active investment."
- The Aging Asia series took a fresh look at the social and economic implications of Asia's rapidly aging demographics with the publication of report entitled "Live long and prosper? Retirement and longevity risk" and two commentaries that highlight the role of elderly labor force participation in retirement income security and the surprising finding that the level of consumption generally does not fall for retired individuals.
Target De-Risking Funds
Manulife Asset Management was awarded a patent in May of 2014 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for the investment process underlying the firm's Target De-Risking Funds and for the funds themselves. Target De-Risking Funds are a suite of portfolios geared toward small defined-benefit pension plans (those with fewer than $100 million in assets), offering an attractive solution for de-risking plan liabilities by helping plans close the gap between future obligations and present funding levels. PSG developed the Target De-Risking Funds solution in conjunction with Manulife's Group Retirement Solutions business unit in Canada.
*All figures Canadian dollars, as of September 30, 2014 unless otherwise noted.
** Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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 September 30, 2014, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately C$309 billion (US$276 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 Asset Management Private Markets
Manulife Asset Management Private Markets has investment expertise in several private asset classes, including commercial real estate, timberland and farmland, renewable energy, oil and gas, private equity and mezzanine debt. Manulife Asset Management Private Markets also partners with Manulife's specialized private asset investment teams to invest in private placement debt and commercial mortgages. Hancock Natural Resource Group, Manulife Real Estate, John Hancock Real Estate, NAL Resources, Regional Power, Manulife Capital, and Hancock Capital Management are units of Manulife Asset Management Private Markets. As at September 30, 2014, Manulife's assets under management in private asset classes were C$79 billion (US$70 billion), including assets managed by and for Manulife's general fund and external clients. Additional information may be found at ManulifeAM.com/PrivateMarkets.
Manulife is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. We operate as John Hancock in the U.S. and as Manulife in other parts of the world. We provide strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for our customers' 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 C$663 billion (US$591 billion) as at September 30, 2014.
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.
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SOURCE Manulife Asset Management