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Rating:MFS Forecasts Brighter Skies Ahead Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MFS Forecasts Brighter Skies Ahead

Reported by Patricia Kelly

The picturesque view of Central Park from the top of the Le Parker Meridien in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday was befitting of the upbeat outlook for global economic and market recovery that emerged from the annual MFS Investment Outlook Conference.

However, it seems that perhaps MFS' particularly sunny forecast for the global economy may be more of a reflection of the company's own recent fortune, rather than the economy at large – specifically, the infusion of up to $50 million MFS expects to receive from its Canadian-based parent Sun Life Financial. As (reported by the MFWire back in August, MFS expects to hire 50 to 100 people over the next three years across its global operations and has plans in place to allocate some of the money to branding and advertising initiatives.) A company executive at the conference confirmed that MFS is in the process of bolstering its marketing and advertising strategies but would not reveal specific details.

Tuesday's event, which drew about 32 reporters, marked the 21st year that MFS has hosted such a conference in New York City. The three MFS executives who gave presentations were James Swanson, chief investment Strategist at MFS, Michael Roberge, chief investment officer for U.S. Investments at MFS and David Antonelli, chief investment officer for non-U.S. And Global Investments.

Tackling a breadth of issues, ranging from inflation and deflation fears to emerging market portfolio exposure and the state of the U.S. Consumer, the speakers proffered that the tide of recovery had shifted and the U.S. economy is now on the road to recovery, albeit at a moderate pace. Numerous indicators such as increased corporate profitability, rising exports, stabilizing global housing markets, and effective cost-reducing efforts were cited as evidence of the economy's climb back from the brink of financial calamity.

"We are witnessing the phenomenon of how quickly the US can recover profitability from a bad situation," concluded Swanson, "There are some upside surprises yet to come."

MFS also handed out copies of Too Big To Save?, the book penned by MFS chairman Bob Pozen, which landed on bookshelves last week. The book explores the many factors that played a hand in triggering the financial crisis, in addition to evaluating the government's responses to the crisis and suggesting preventative actions to avert future financial crises.

In addition to the New York conference, MFS holds an annual outlook conference in Boston, usually in mid-December, as well as a mid-year telecast call open to the press.  

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Bob Pozen's title.

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