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Paul Lorentz, executive vice president, investment and insurance solutions, Manulife Mutual Funds

Manulife Mutual Funds surpasses record CAD20bn AUM

Manulife Mutual Funds' net assets under management reached a record CAD20.7bn at the close of 2012, representing an 18 per cent increase from year-end 2011 to year-end 2012.

The firm now places seventh in rankings released by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), having moved up three spots during 2012.

"Surpassing the CAD20bn mark reflects our increased breadth of high-quality investment funds, our expanded distribution capabilities and our effective branding of Manulife Mutual Funds as a top tier firm in the industry," says Paul Lorentz (pictured), executive vice president, investment and insurance solutions. "It was only relatively recently, in March of 2010, that we surpassed CAD15bn in assets under management. Now, aided by record-breaking sales in years 2011 and 2012, we have arrived at a new milestone."

A major increase in business with full-service brokers at major bank-owned brokerage firms was a significant factor in asset growth in 2012 for Manulife Mutual Funds, with 43 per cent of sales through the fourth quarter of 2012 generated through the bank channel. Also, the firm has increased its presence on major-dealer recommended lists, up to 31 at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012 from seven in 2009. And during the year Manulife Mutual Funds celebrated the persistence of its top performers, such as the Manulife Monthly High Income Fund, which marked its 15th year of consistent, strong investment performance under portfolio manager Alan Wicks.

New growth opportunities are in the works for 2013. A series of new funds focused on Asia and launched in 2011 – Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund, Manulife Asia Equity Class, and Manulife Emerging Markets Debt Fund – remain a priority, as do US-focused funds such as the recently launched Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund, Manulife US All Cap Equity Fund and Manulife US Large Cap Equity Fund.

Manulife Mutual Funds will continue to emphasise its strength in fixed income with funds such as Manulife Floating Rate Income Fund. The firm also will continue to build on the launch in December 2012 of Manulife Private Investment Pools, a new product designed for affluent investors that offers 15 different investment pools and uses a tax-efficient structure, along with other advantages.

"We are enthusiastic about the future of our investment business as we have a great deal of room to significantly enhance our market share," says Lorentz. "This CAD20bn milestone will not be our last, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with our various teams, along with our advisors, to build on this tremendous success."

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