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2012

March 26, 2012

Manulife Mutual Funds Launches New Equity Income Solutions

New offerings include Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield, Manulife Dividend Income, and Manulife Canadian Equity Balanced, available in trust and corporate class

  • Manulife Corporate Bond Class also now available
  • All new funds offered in Advisor, F, I, IT and T6 Series
  • Portfolio management provided by Manulife Asset Management

Toronto - Manulife Mutual Funds continues its product line expansion with the launch of seven new funds. Three of the new funds are available in both trust and corporate class. All of the new funds have portfolio management provided by portfolio advisor Manulife Asset Management, the asset management division of parent company Manulife Financial. Each new corporate class is designed primarily for taxable investors as they may be able to switch between corporate classes on a tax-deferred basis and benefit from tax-efficient distributions from these funds.

“We know that advisors look to Manulife Mutual Funds for high quality investment solutions that their clients both need and want, and so we are very pleased to offer new options in the areas of balanced yield and balanced Canadian equity, dividend income and corporate bonds,” said Paul Lorentz, President of Manulife Investments, adding,  “Manulife Mutual Funds is building out its product line as part of its commitment to being a premier provider of investment solutions to advisors and their clients.”

The new funds include:
  • Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund/Class. With demographic changes and increased market volatility, Canadian investors are increasingly focusing on yield and income generation. This new Fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of dividend paying equity securities and fixed income securities. The potential combination of high-yielding U.S. and Canadian equities and high-yielding fixed income provides an improved risk reward payoff versus a pure equity fund, with the income potential investors desire. The equity portion and overall portfolio management of the Fund will be run by Walter McCormick and Sandy Sanders who apply their proprietary 7-step research process to equity selection and who have experience with managing dividend strategies. The multi-sector fixed income portion of the Fund will be managed by highly regarded fixed income managers Daniel Janis and Tom Goggins, along with Dennis McCafferty who will lend his credit research and floating rate loan expertise. All portfolio managers are with Manulife Asset Management. 
  • Manulife Dividend Income Fund/Class. This Fund will invest primarily in a diversified portfolio of Canadian dividend paying common and preferred equity securities. Dividend paying stocks may provide a level of downside protection in market downturns as the dividend income contributes to the total return of the Fund. In addition, in the portfolio advisor’s view, companies that pay dividends are usually larger, more stable entities with the potential for growth over the long term. The lead manager for this Fund is Jonathan Popper, who is also co-manager of the Manulife Monthly High Income Fund, a balanced fund with a significant allocation to dividend paying equities.
  • Manulife Corporate Bond Class. This is a corporate class version of the existing Manulife Corporate Bond Fund, managed by Terry Carr. This Fund provides exposure to both investment grade and high yield corporate bonds. The lower correlation of corporate bonds to other bond asset classes provides important diversification and may reduce overall risk in a portfolio.
  • Manulife Canadian Equity Balanced Fund/Class. This new offering is designed to provide long-term growth by investing in a portfolio of Canadian equity, fixed income and money market securities. The Fund will have a target allocation of 65-70 percent in equities, with the remainder invested across a variety of fixed income asset classes and money market. Lead manager for the equity portion of the Fund is Monika Skiba, a recent addition to Manulife Asset Management, while the fixed income component will be run by long time Manulife Asset Management portfolio manager Terry Carr.

“We expect these new fund choices to resonate with advisors and investors looking for strategies to achieve sustainable income and to diversify their income stream from traditional income investing strategies,” said Jeff Ray, Assistant Vice President, Mutual Funds & Structured Products. “A distinguishing feature of our new fund offerings is the strength of the Manulife Asset Management portfolio management team, which has exceptional and extensive background and credentials in income and equity investing.”

In recent months, Manulife Mutual Funds has posted the highest year-over-year growth rate – 87.3 percent – for total fixed income fund assets under management among the top 10 firms reporting to the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) as at December 31, 2011. The firm is also experiencing strong sales momentum, reporting record sales in 2011. Manulife Mutual Funds was the second-fastest growing firm based on funds under management of the top ten firms reporting to the IFIC, as of December 31, 2011. The firm was also recently recognized at the Canadian Lipper Awards, winning awards for the Manulife Structured Bond Class Advisor Series, and the Manulife International Dividend Income Fund Advisor Series.

About Manulife Mutual Funds
Manulife Mutual Funds, a division of Manulife Asset Management Limited, builds on 125 years of Manulife Financial’s wealth and investment management expertise in managing approximately $17.7 billion as at December 31, 2011 for Canadian investors, through a diverse portfolio of forward-thinking mutual fund products. Our experienced Portfolio Managers offer access to markets in Canada, the United States and around the world, in a range of investment styles to help meet individual needs. Manulife Mutual Funds is part of Manulife Investments, which offers personal wealth management products and services, such as mutual funds, segregated fund contracts, annuities and guaranteed interest contracts. For more information, please visit manulifemutualfunds.ca.

About Manulife Asset Management
Manulife Asset Management™ 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. As at December 31, 2011, assets under management were Cdn$211 billion (US$208 billion). Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at www.manulifeam.com.

Manulife Asset Management was named a 2011 'Bond Manager of the Year' finalist by Money Management Intelligence (MMI) in the United States and "Best Asia Bond House" by Asia Asset Management.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients 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. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$500 billion (US$491 billion) as at December 31, 2011. 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 manulife.com.

Media Contacts:
Brian Carmichael
Manulife Mutual Funds
1-617-663-4748
brian_carmichael@manulifeam.com


Beth McGoldrick
|Manulife Mutual Funds
1-617-663-4751
beth_mcgoldrick@manulifeam.com