Manulife Asset Management announces today that it has appointed Elka Leung as Managing Director, Head of Product Development for Asia. Based in Hong Kong, Elka started with the company this June and reports to Lucas Pontillo, Head of Finance & Business Development, Asia.
In this role, Elka is responsible for overseeing the product development process for the company’s local offices in Asia, and for leveraging Manulife Asset Management’s on-the-ground investment capabilities in 10 territories across Asia to deliver quality and forward-looking products to investors through almost 30 Manulife distribution platforms spanning mutual funds, investment-linked products and pension schemes as well as directly through its third party distribution network.
Elka brings with her over 12 years of product development and positioning experience, starting her career in Canada before moving to Hong Kong, where most recently she was VP, Product Development for Barclays Global Investors.
Commenting on the appointment, Lucas Pontillo said “Elka joins at an exciting time at Manulife Asset Management in terms of product development as we have recently expanded our global asset allocation arm, the Portfolio
Solutions Group, into Asia, reflecting the need for more investment solutions that help Asian investors meet an ever-widening range of income and total return needs through strategic and tactical asset allocation.”
A report released by the company earlier in the month titled ‘Saving up: The changing shape of retirement funding in a greying ASEAN’ provides an analysis of data that suggests that ASEAN countries, which are generally thought of as being ‘youthful’, can expect to witness a rapid demographic shift and see a tripling in the percentage of their pensioner population in less then 40 years, making the need for retirement funding in these countries now more pressing than ever. The study concludes that the stage is set for alternative savings mechanisms, such as mutual funds and insurance products, to grow significantly in the coming years as ever greater numbers of pre-retirees seek to complement their existing formal pensions with additional savings and investment vehicles.
Lucas continued “The team is also part of Manulife Asset Management's global product development function and will leverage this expertise, in such areas as public pension programs and private retirement solutions, to bring forth global product solutions to Asian investors. Locally we already manage more than US$5 billion in global asset allocation assets^ for Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) and other pension schemes.”
Manulife Asset Management has been leading product innovation to provide new and exciting investment opportunities for investors. Today’s announcement follows news that Manulife introduced the first ever Asia
Pacific bond product into Hong Kong’s MPF this May. Manulife also introduced the first-of-its-kind dim sum bond funds in Taiwan last year, opening up the CNH market to retail investors there, and was awarded for this innovation*.
Notes to editors:
^ Assets under management data as of 31 March 2012
* Awarded by Asia Asset Management at the Best of the Best Awards 2011 in the Most Innovative Product-Taiwan category
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 broad 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.
Manulife Asset Management was named Best Asian Bond House by Asia Asset Management. As at March 31, 2012, assets under management were US$220 billion. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management can be found at ManulifeAM.com.
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$512 billion (US$512 billion) as at March 31, 2012. 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.
Manulife Asset Management (Asia)
Tel: +852 2202 1965