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Manulife Financial Corp
Symbol C : MFC
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Close 2018-11-07 C$ 21.44
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Manulife Asset adds to global asset allocation team

2018-11-08 15:23 ET - News Release

Mr. Chris Conkey reports


As part of its commitment to continually strengthening its solutions business, Manulife Asset Management, the investment management arm of Manulife Financial Corp., has bolstered its global asset allocation team.

Nathan Thooft, head of global asset allocation, said today that the team has added three new members, promoted two existing team members to portfolio managers, and named a head of macroeconomic strategy and a head of asset allocation in Canada.

"One of our key priorities moving forward is continuing to strengthen the solutions we offer clients in Asia, Canada, Europe and U.S. through multiasset strategies, leveraging both proprietary and non-proprietary alpha streams," said Chris Conkey, president and chief executive officer of Manulife Asset Management. "Multiasset solutions are a growth area for our company and the industry as a whole. We are one of the pioneers in this space and we look forward to continuing to be one of its leaders."

"For more than 20 years, we have successfully managed multiasset, multistyle, multi manager portfolios with a consistent, proven investment process," Mr. Thooft said. "We will continue to leverage this approach as the asset allocation space evolves and grows."

While much of the company's solutions success has been in the retail, adviser-sold market, opportunities are growing rapidly in the institutional, custom and model delivery offerings. "Focus areas for growth include target date and other retirement solutions, model delivery and advisory solutions, and outcome-oriented and multiasset income solutions across the risk spectrum," Mr. Thooft said.

The asset allocation team of more than 40 people globally has approximately $110-billion in assets under management.

"These new hires and promotions afford us the opportunity to take advantage of these growth opportunities and further position ourselves as leaders in the multiasset space," Mr. Thooft said. "We're adding highly talented and experienced investment professionals to continually better serve a growing range of clients."

Bruce Picard, model portfolio lead, is responsible for leading investment efforts to expand model delivery and custom solution capabilities. Mr. Picard has more than 25 years of investment experience, most recently building and leading multiasset efforts at Mass Mutual, including overseeing a multimanager platform and asset allocation strategies.

Geoffrey Kelley, portfolio manager, joins from State Street Global Advisors, and will contribute to the research and investment decision-making process across a wide variety of global, multiasset strategies, including target risk, target date and other outcome-oriented portfolios. He has nearly 25 years of investment experience, including direct equity and fixed income portfolio management, a strong institutional target date background, a tenured research focus on retirement solutions, and deep knowledge in strategic and dynamic asset allocation.

David Kobuszewski, senior investment analyst, who also joins from State Street, has more than 15 years of investment experience in multiasset and fixed income investing. He has a strong background in strategic and tactical asset class forecasting approaches, and factor-based and risk premia research, which will further bolster the team's efforts in these areas.

Jamie Robertson has been named head of asset allocation in Canada. Mr. Robertson is responsible for overseeing the Canadian asset allocation franchise, including portfolio management, research and development, and supporting product development and business development.

Frances Donald, who joined the team as a senior economist in 2016, has been promoted to head of macroeconomic strategy. She and her staff provide global macroeconomic investment analysis to further enhance the team's investment process. They also support the organization's other investment teams globally.

Rob Sykes and Chris Walsh have been promoted to portfolio manager. Mr. Sykes and Mr. Walsh handle portfolio management of multiasset portfolios and conduct fundamental research across various asset classes and investment strategies. Mr. Sykes, who joined the company in 2008, was previously at FactSet Research Systems and at Fidelity Investments. Mr. Walsh, who joined the company in 2009, was previously at Putnam Investments.

About Manulife Financial Corp.

Manulife Financial is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. The company operates primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. It provides financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions, for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2017, the company had about 35,000 employees, 73,000 agents and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 26 million customers.

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