The Canadian asset manager is already present in North America and Asia, with global assets under management of £226bn. Europe and the wider EMEA market is a strategically important growth market for the company, and the business is investing in the region for the long term, said the firm.
“The business recognises that to serve the global investor community, it is critical to have a well-developed and robust European presence to complement its growing North American and Asian businesses," said Claude Chene, global head of distribution, Manulife Asset Management.
Manulife, which currently has close to 40 employees in its London office, has doubled the number of people over the last 18 months. They include key hires in the investment teams and distribution including Chris Fellingham, head of liquid alternative strategies, who joined on Monday.
Fellingham will report to Chris Conkey, executive vice president and global CIO at Manulife Asset Management, and be based in London. “We created this new role to drive our growth strategy in liquid alternatives. Chris will play a significant role leading the expansion of our range of absolute return and outcome oriented capabilities, including stand-alone and multi-asset class strategy solutions, that we believe will meet the needs of institutional and wealth clients globally,” said Conkey.
The firm said it anticipates the number of employees to increase significantly "over the next year or so." Or recent hires include Martin Powis, Alan Burnett, Marco Zanuso, Robert Corbally, Othman Domiati, Claude Chene, Kathryn Langridge and Philip Ehrmann.
Manulife AM has also established a Dublin-domiciled UCITS fund platform, which has 11 funds registered for sale in the UK and Ireland. Some of the strategies include strategic fixed income, global equities, emerging market equities, emerging market debt, US large cap core equity, and Asian bond absolute return; which will be marketed to both institutional and wholesale investors.
Kai Sotorp, chief executive officer, Manulife Asset Management, said: “We have been building our European investment teams and client base over the years and we are excited to be able to make further commitments to our clients and this important market.”