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Rating:Hancock Looks Outside and Within for its New Subadvisors Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, January 09, 2012

Hancock Looks Outside and Within for its New Subadvisors

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Keith Hartstein and his team at John Hancock Mutual Funds [profile] are pitching a pair of new funds in the advisor-sold market.

For one of the funds, Hancock turned to Edinburgh, Scotland-based Standard Life Investments as sub-adviser. The other fund is sub-advised by Hancock Mutual Funds' sister organization, John Hancock Asset Management.

The Standard Life-subadvised product, John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies, comes with an expense ratio of 195 basis points for Class A shares [prospectus]

Aside from being a stand-alone retail product, the fund will also be a part of the John Hancock Alternative Asset Allocation fund and several of Hancock's lifestyle fund offerings.

Andy Arnott, executive vice president of John Hancock Investment Management, explained why Hancock hired Standard Life Investments over other candidates.

"The extensive research and due diligence process by John Hancock IMS identified several different potential sub-advisers," Arnott said in a press release. "After numerous discussions and multiple in-person visits to Standard Life Investments' home office, we chose that firm, which we believe to be one of the world's premier managers of absolute return strategies, with more than $19 billion in assets under management in their global absolute return strategies (GARS). Standard Life Investments may not be a household name here in the U.S., but they are very well known and respected in the U.K."

Euan Munro, Guy Stern and David Millar are managing the fund.

The other mutual fund Hancock rolled out today is John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund. W. Shannon Reid and his U.S. large cap growth team at John Hancock Asset Management, are sub-advising the fund.

The four were previously with Wells Capital Management, joined Hancock last July.

The fund comes with an expense ratio of 130 bps for class A shares. [prospectus]
Company Press Release on John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund

John Hancock Launches New John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund (JHAAX)

Standard Life Investments to sub-advise portfolio BOSTON, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Mutual Funds today announced that the John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund (JHAAX) is now available to investors through their financial advisers. Standard Life Investments of Edinburgh, Scotland, is providing portfolio management services as sub-adviser to the new Fund. The Fund's investment adviser is John Hancock Investment Management Services, LLC (IMS).

The new fund will be offered both as a stand-alone member of the John Hancock family of retail funds, and will also be a component of the John Hancock Alternative Asset Allocation (JAAAX) fund as well as several of the John Hancock Lifestyle funds.

"Making the John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund available to investors is the culmination of more than a year-long process, and represents yet another step in the evolution of alternatives investing at John Hancock Funds," said Keith F. Hartstein, President & CEO, John Hancock Funds.

"The extensive research and due diligence process by John Hancock IMS identified several different potential sub-advisers. After numerous discussions and multiple in-person visits to Standard Life Investments' home office, we chose that firm, which we believe to be one of the world's premier managers of absolute return strategies, with more than $19 billion in assets under management in their global absolute return strategies (GARS)," said Andrew Arnott, Executive Vice President of John Hancock IMS. "Standard Life Investments may not be a household name here in the U.S., but they are very well known and respected in the U.K."

Mr. Hartstein added: "Few people realize that John Hancock is the nation's largest manager of target-risk asset allocation funds-of-funds, with more than $64 billion in assets under management (as of November 30, 2011). John Hancock has included alternative strategies as components of our target risk Lifestyle funds since their inception in 1998. A few years ago we began offering many of those component funds as stand-alone offerings within our retail fund family. Examples include two funds sub-advised by Wellington Asset Management -- the John Hancock Technical Opportunities Fund (JTCAX), launched in August of 2009, and the John Hancock Natural Resources Fund (JNRAX), launched in January of 2010 -- as well as the John Hancock Currency Strategies Fund (JCUAX), launched in August of 2010 and sub-advised by First Quadrant, and now the John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund."

"The allocation to GARS within our fund-of-funds is designed to further diversify those funds' asset allocation mix to include strategies that attempt to provide uncorrelated returns and lower volatility compared to the broader market," said Bob Boyda, Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Global Asset Allocation, with John Hancock's Portfolio Solutions Group.

Euan Munro, Guy Stern, and David Millar comprise the Standard Life Investments team of portfolio managers for the John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund. Mr. Munro joined Standard Life Investments in 1995 as a fixed interest Investment Manager specializing in index-linked investments and interest rate derivatives. On the bond team he ultimately ran all Standard Life Investments segregated bond funds, and in 2001 was promoted to manage all the assets of the Standard Life Assurance Company. In September 2004, he established the Strategic Solutions Unit which became the Multi-Asset Investing Team, and in June 2008 he was appointed Head of Global Fixed Income. He is a member of the Standard Life Investments Board.

Guy Stern, CFA, is responsible for the management of the multi-asset fund management team overseeing the asset allocation in Standard Life Investments' multi-asset portfolios. He joined Standard Life Investments in April 2008, from Credit Suisse Asset Management, where he held the position of CIO for Multi-Asset Class Solutions in the U.K. and U.S.

David Millar, FIA (Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries), joined Standard Life Investments in January 2008. He is a senior member of the multi-asset investing team that is responsible for developing investment strategies designed to deliver absolute returns. Prior to joining the firm, he was Head of Bond Strategy and Chair of the Bond Policy Group at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP).

The John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund has a broad investment mandate that permits it to use an extensive range of investment strategies and to invest in a wide spectrum of equity and fixed-income securities, as well as derivative instruments, in pursuing its investment objective. The Fund invests in equity securities of U.S. and foreign companies of various market capitalizations. The Fund also invests in fixed-income securities, which are not subject to any credit rating or maturity limitations, issued by companies and government and supranational entities around the world, including high yield non-investment grade securities.

The Fund may invest in emerging as well as developed markets and may invest a significant portion of its assets in the securities of companies in particular economic sectors. The Fund also may invest extensively in derivative instruments, which are generally financial contracts whose value depends upon, or is derived from, the value of an underlying asset, reference rate, or index, and may relate to equity securities, fixed-income securities, interest rates, total return rates, currencies or currency exchange rates, and related indexes. Under normal market conditions, at least 40 percent of the value of the Fund's net assets will be invested in or exposed to obligations of issuers or obligors located outside of the United States.

The sub-adviser employs a "global multi-asset strategy" and seeks to achieve total return by delivering a diversified global portfolio that makes use of multiple strategies across various asset classes. It aims to exploit market cyclicality and a diverse array of inefficiencies across and within global markets to maximize risk adjusted absolute return, by investing in listed equity, equity-related and debt securities, and derivatives or other instruments, both for investment and hedging purposes. The Fund invests in derivative instruments (which will be used routinely), including futures, options, swaps (including credit default swaps and variance swaps), and foreign currency forward contracts.

Absolute return funds are not designed to outperform stocks and bonds in strong markets and there is no guarantee of positive returns. They employ certain techniques which are intended to reduce risk and volatility in the portfolio and provide protection against a decline in the Fund's assets. However, there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful or that the Fund's objectives will be achieved. For additional information on these and other risk considerations, please see the Fund's prospectus.

About Standard Life Investments
As of September 30, 2011, Standard Life Investments managed $233.4 billion in assets under management across the spectrum of investment capabilities spanning equities, fixed income, real estate, private equity, multi-asset solutions, fund-of-funds as well as absolute return strategies. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Standard Life Investments employs over 850 professionals. Standard Life Investments has offices globally, including locations in Boston, Hong Kong, London, Beijing, Montreal, Sydney, Dublin, Paris and Seoul. In addition, Standard Life Investments also operates in India through a joint venture, HDFC AMC and Chuo Mitsui Asset Trust and Banking in Japan. Standard Life Investments was launched as an investment management company in 1998. It is a subsidiary of Standard Life Investments (Holdings) Limited, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Standard Life plc.

About John Hancock Funds
The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial, John Hancock Funds manages more than $62.3 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for individual and institutional investors as at September 30, 2011.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation
John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 21 countries and territories worldwide. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$492 billion (US$473 billion) as at September 30, 2011. 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 manulife.com.

Company Press Release on John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund

John Hancock Mutual Funds Launches John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund (JSGAX)
Portfolio management provided by John Hancock Asset Management's U.S. Large Cap Growth Team

BOSTON, Jan. 9, 2012 -- John Hancock Mutual Funds today announced that the new John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund (JSGAX) is now available to investors through their financial advisers.

"We are pleased to add the John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund to our product lineup," said Keith F. Hartstein, President & CEO, John Hancock Funds. "Managed by a premier asset management team with a strong long-term record, this new fund fills an important style box for investors in the John Hancock family of funds."

Sub-adviser to the fund, providing portfolio management services, is the U.S. Large Cap Growth team at John Hancock Asset Management, a division of Manulife Asset Management, led by W. Shannon Reid, CFA. Mr. Reid's team -- which includes Jay Zelko, CFA, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager; David M. Chow, CFA, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager; and Curtis Ifill, CFA, Director, Senior Investment Analyst -- joined the firm in July of 2011. Previously they were with Wells Capital Management. The team's investment process employs fundamentally-oriented, bottom-up stock selection with a very clear focus on risk management that has enabled them to deliver strong and consistent performance to institutional and retail clients.

The John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund's investment objective is to seek long-term capital appreciation. Under normal market conditions, the fund invests at least 80 percent of its net assets (plus any borrowings for investment purposes) in equity securities of large-capitalization companies and up to 20 percent of its total assets in equity securities of foreign issuers through American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) and similar investments.

The new Fund focuses on companies whose earnings growth rate and sustainability are underestimated by market consensus. The sub-advisory team's investment process utilizes a combination of quantitative and qualitative bottom-up fundamental analysis to identify those companies with under-appreciated prospects for robust and sustainable growth in earnings and revenues. The team employs a five step mosaic research approach which encompasses industry group analysis, company history and financial analysis, earnings growth sustainability analysis, fundamental catalyst assessment and consensus estimate comparisons. Each company within the fund's portfolio goes through a rigorous reward-to-risk analysis based on the team's independent earnings estimate and a clearly articulated investment thesis.

John Hancock Investment Management Services, LLC (IMS) is investment adviser to the John Hancock Strategic Growth Fund.

About John Hancock Funds
The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial, John Hancock Funds manages more than $62.3 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for individual and institutional investors as at September 30, 2011.

About Manulife Asset Management and John Hancock Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management(TM) is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial. Manulife Asset Management provides comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. Manulife Asset Management also provides investment management services to affiliates' retail clients through product offerings of Manulife and John Hancock. This investment expertise extends across a full 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. John Hancock Asset Management, Hancock Natural Resource Group and Declaration Management and Research are units of Manulife Asset Management. John Hancock Asset Management is a division of Manulife Asset Management that provides investment management services related to John Hancock products sold in the United States.

As at September 30, 2011 assets under management were Cdn$206.8 billion (US$199.0 billion). Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at www.manulifeam.com .

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canada-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 21 countries and territories worldwide. In 2012, John Hancock celebrates 150 years of serving clients across the United States, while Manulife celebrates its 125th anniversary. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$492 billion (US$473 billion) as at September 30, 2011. 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 manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
 

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