Manulife AM unveils ‘significant expansion’ in Europe

Manulife AM unveils ‘significant expansion’ in Europe

Manulife Asset Management, the investment management arm of Canada’s Manulife Financial, today unveiled what it says are plans for a “significant expansion” of its operations across Europe.

The expansion has already begun, with its employee numbers in London having almost doubled over the past 18 months, to around 40, and the plans are for that number “to increase significantly over the next year or so”, Manulife said in a statement.

The company said it has also taken 15,000sq ft of office space at 1 London Wall, in the City of London, to serve as what it is calling its “new European headquarters” and to “support planned growth”. It has an existing office in the City on St Swithin’s Lane.

In its statement, Manulife AM said it has also established a Dublin-domiciled Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) fund platform, which has 11 funds currently registered for sale in the UK and Ireland, and that it has begun passporting its new fund range into Europe.

Some of the strategies represented in this fund range include Strategic Fixed Income, Global Equities, Emerging Market Equities, Emerging Market Debt, US Large Cap Core Equity, and Asian Bond Absolute Return, Manulife said.

It noted that its investment capabilities “will be marketed to both institutional and wholesale investors in the region, as appropriate”, and said it had bolstered its research capabilities, again in London, to accommodate its new areas of expertise.

Toronto- and New York Stock-Exchange-listed Manulife – which was originally called Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, after being founded in 1887 – already has a significant presence in North America and Asia, with global assets under management of €285bn (£226bn) at the end of March. The company does business in the US as John Hancock.

As part of its expansion, Manulife said it has hired the following people over the past 18 months: Chris Fellingham, head of liquid alternative strategies; Martin Powis, head of institutional sales and relationship management, UK & Ireland; Alan Burnett, head of wholesale sales and relationship management, UK & Ireland; Marco Zanuso, head of distribution, EMEA ex UK; Robert Corbally, head of European product and UCITS; Othman Domiati, head of sales and relationship management, Middle East; Claude Chene, global head of distribution; Kathryn Langridge, head of global emerging markets equities; and Philip Ehrmann, senior portfolio manager, global emerging markets equities.