For Immediate Release / Toronto / Boston /

    Manulife Asset Management expands business, delivers strong investment performance in 2017

    TORONTO and BOSTON, December 21, 2017—Manulife Asset Management, the investment management arm of Manulife, saw strong growth in both sales and assets under management in 2017. The firm continued to build its global capabilities and delivered strong long-term investment performance for clients.

    Total global assets managed by the firm were CAD$477 billion1 as of September 30, 2017*, up six per cent from September 30 last year. The firm’s institutional assets under management were CAD$86 billion as at September 30, 2017, a 16 per cent increase from the prior year.

    “We remain focused on serving our clients’ needs through our deep local expertise and execution strength,” said Christopher Conkey, President and CEO of Manulife Asset Management and CIO of the firm’s public markets business. “I’m pleased by our solid performance across all asset categories, as well as the overall investment performance of our publicly traded assets this year. Manulife Asset Management’s public markets capabilities continue to be an important part of Manulife’s global Wealth and Asset Management platform.”

    “Our teams leveraged our broad capabilities to create innovative investment solutions for the benefit of our clients across our private asset classes,” said Kevin Adolphe, President & CEO, Manulife Asset Management Private Markets. “We are committed to growing across geographies and broadening the solutions we offer.”

    The firm’s long-term investment performance continued to be strong, with more than three quarters of public asset classes outperforming their benchmarks on a 3- and 5-year basis2. As at September 30, 2017, Manulife Asset Management advised or sub-advised funds that had 127 Four- and Five-Star Morningstar ratings, an increase of 17 funds since September 30, 2016. Total institutional gross flows through September 30, 2017, were CAD$10.7 billion, and total net flows were CAD$4.9 billion.

    Milestones and Capabilities
    Manulife Asset Management continued to expand its business in 2017. In Chile, the firm began marketing eight UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) sub-funds of the Manulife Global Fund, through a distribution partnership with Banchile Administradora General de Fondos (AGF), one of the largest financial services providers in the country.

    In Asia, Manulife Asset Management further expanded its differentiated product capabilities. The Manulife US Real Estate Income Trust in Singapore acquired two office buildings in New Jersey, including its largest acquisition to date, raising equity via a rights offering to partially fund the acquisition of a 30-floor, Class A office building in Jersey City.3

    Manulife launched Manulife Investment (Shanghai) Limited Company, an Investment Company Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise, to bring its global public and private assets solutions and co-investment opportunities to the fast-growing institutional asset management market in China.

    In addition, senior economist Frances Donald was named one of the top 40 social influencers in Canada in finance, innovation, and risk by Thomson-Reuters.

    New mandates in 2017 include:

    • US$631 million funded in U.S. Core Plus Fixed Income across six Outsourced Chief Investment Officer mandates.
    • US$625 million funded in a custom LDI mandate from a Canadian corporation.
    • US$520 million funded in Taiwan Fixed Income from a Taiwanese corporation.
    • US$497 million funded in Strategic Fixed Income Opportunities from a U.S. corporation.
    • US$488 million funded in U.S. Core Fixed Income from a U.S. public fund.
    • U.S. separately managed account and unified managed account combined gross sales of more than US$1 billion.


    Global Thought Leadership
    Manulife Asset Management’s Thought Leadership program continues to provide clients with insights to help make sense of an increasingly complex and sometimes unpredictable investing environment.

    Key pieces this year included:

    • “U.S. Border Tax Adjustment: The Path to Stagflation, Debt and Inflation,” by Chief Economist Megan Greene. In late January, Ms. Greene looked at speculation the U.S. might impose a 20 per cent tax on imported goods
    • “Liability-Driven Investing: Seeking A Balance Between Risk & Return In An Uncertain World,” by Serge Lapierre, Global Head of Liability-Driven Investments Research. In April, Mr. Lapierre discussed how Liability-Driven Investing can assist pension plans and sponsors better match their income to liabilities, while optimizing investment opportunities.
    • “Bank of Canada Preview: Reading The Tea Leaves & The Odds of A July Rate Hike,” by Senior Economist Frances Donald. In July, Ms. Donald’s piece put the Bank of Canada’s surprise shift from its dovish position to a hawkish stance into context.
    • “Are Markets Complacent: Thoughts on Risks And Valuation,” by John Addeo, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, US Fixed Income. In August, Mr. Addeo examined whether investors are complacent, against a backdrop characterized by rich valuation, heightened geopolitical uncertainty, and record-low volatility.
    • “Conviction In The U.S. Banking Sector Remains High,” by Senior Portfolio Manager Lisa Welch and US Financial Institutions Team. In September, the team outlined why they believe the U.S. banking sector is poised to do well, even if the sector’s market performance underwhelmed through the first three quarters of 2017.
    • “Emerging Markets Debt: Moving From A Tactical To A Strategic Asset Allocation Decision,” by Paolo Valle and Roberto Sanchez-Dahl, Senior Portfolio Managers, Emerging Markets Debt. In September, the team made the case for asset allocators to view emerging market debt as a strategic investment as opposed to a short-term investment option.
    • “An Investor’s Guide to U.S. Commercial Real Estate,” by the Manulife Private Markets team. This piece from October aimed to showcase the asset class to investors who might not have previously considered it and shows how US real estate has fared vis- à-vis its global peers in the last 17 years.


    * All figures Canadian dollars, as of September 30, 2017, unless otherwise noted.

    1 Information shown represents advised and sub-advised, public and private assets as of September 30, 2016 managed by Manulife Asset Management (Manulife AM) and certain of its affiliates on behalf of Manulife AM, its clients, and the general accounts of the insurance company affiliates of Manulife AM. Manulife AM assets under management include assets of Manulife TEDA Fund Management Company Ltd.'s 49% joint venture ownership structure. The methodologies used to compile the total assets under management are subject to change.

    2 Past performance is no guarantee of future results

    3 Not available in all markets.


    About Manulife Asset Management
    Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial Corporation (“Manulife”). We provide comprehensive asset management solutions for investors across a broad range of public and private asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. We also provide portfolio management for affiliated retail Manulife and John Hancock product offerings. Our investment solutions include public and private equities and fixed income, timberland, farmland, real estate, power and infrastructure, oil and gas, renewable energy, and mezzanine debt. We operate in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, as well as through a China joint venture, Manulife TEDA. We also serve investors in select European, Middle Eastern and Latin American markets. As at September 30, 2017, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were approximately C$477 billion (US$383 billion, GBP£286 billion, EUR€324 billion). Additional information may be found at

    About Manulife
    Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people achieve their dreams and aspirations by putting customers' needs first and providing the right advice and solutions. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2016, we had approximately 35,000 employees, 70,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 22 million customers. As of September 30, 2017, we had over $1 trillion (US$806 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $27.1 billion in 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.

    Media contacts:

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    Brian Carmichael