Manulife launches inaugural real estate investment funds

  • Manulife Real Estate leverages more than 60-year history in real estate asset management with new real estate funds platform and first Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds offering
  • Funds bring further diversification to Manulife Asset Management’s comprehensive range of asset management solutions

TORONTO, Feb. 28 2011 – Manulife Real Estate, the real estate arm of Manulife Financial, is extending to investors the benefit of its more than 60-year history of managing quality commercial real estate assets with the formation of a new Manulife Real Estate Funds platform and the launch of its inaugural Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds offering. Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds provides accredited investors with an opportunity to participate in a strategy that targets a steady flow of income and long term capital growth through investments in Canadian commercial real estate assets managed by Manulife Real Estate. The funds will be offered to institutional investors through Manulife Asset Management, the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial, bringing further diversification to its comprehensive asset management solutions.

“Manulife, through its Real Estate group, has a solid reputation managing commercial real estate assets with a portfolio in excess of C$6.4 billion and properties that span major cities across Canada, the United States and Asia,” said Kevin Adolphe, Chief Operating Officer of Manulife’s Investment Division and President and CEO of Manulife Real Estate. “We’re very pleased to be able to put this long established expertise to work in a platform that allows investors to take advantage of what has been a sound asset class for Manulife for the last six decades.”

Structured as a private, two-tier limited partnership, Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds provides separate real estate investment options from a single source of real estate assets. Investors can participate through direct investments in a portfolio of income producing commercial real estate properties or in a combination of investments in the property portfolio together with investments in publicly traded Canadian real estate securities and Canadian money market securities.

Manulife Asset Management will manage the fixed income and other securities components of the offering with the goal of maintaining adequate liquidity for investors while providing real estate exposure to support long-term objectives of maintaining high yields and attractive returns.

“We are very excited about this collaboration with Manulife Real Estate as it allows us to bring yet another opportunity for real diversification to our clients,” said J-F Courville, President and CEO of Manulife Asset Management. “We believe institutional investors will benefit from the strength of Manulife Real Estate’s long-standing expertise in real estate asset management. These funds, combined with our leading timber and farmland investment capabilities, round out our alternative asset offerings.”

Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds launched with 11 income producing properties valued at approximately C$190 million. The portfolio totals 1.8 million square feet of office and industrial space and is diversified by geography, tenant base and asset class. Manulife Financial has also invested in the funds and Manulife Real Estate will continue to actively manage the properties.

About Manulife Real Estate

Manulife Real Estate, the real estate arm of Manulife Financial Corporation, is actively involved in the ownership, development and management of commercial real estate. The portfolio includes a diversified mix of prime office and industrial properties in key metropolitan centres throughout Canada, the United States and Asia. In addition to equity real estate, Manulife Real Estate manages the Company’s space requirements and own use facilities to accommodate Manulife’s more than 24,000 employees worldwide. As at December 31, 2010, Manulife Financial’s real estate portfolio totals 30.8 million square feet and represents a carrying value of Cdn$6.4 billion (US$6.4 billion).

About Manulife Asset Management

Manulife Asset Management™ is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management and its affiliates provide 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 asset classes including equity, fixed income and alternative investments such as real estate, timber, farmland, as well as asset allocation strategies.

Manulife Asset Management has offices with full investment capabilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, it has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. It also has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Uruguay. As at December 31, 2010, assets under management were Cdn$209 billion (US$210 billion). Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at Prior to December 15, 2010, Manulife Asset Management was known as MFC Global Investment Management.

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group operating in 22 countries and territories worldwide. For more than 120 years, clients worldwide have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most 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 around the world. We provide asset management services to institutional customers worldwide as well as reinsurance solutions, specializing in life and property and casualty retrocession. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were $475 billion (US$478 billion) as at December 31, 2010. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at