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Manulife Investment Management's latest Global Intelligence report provides economic recovery insight and identifies growth opportunities amid pandemic-induced volatility

July 29, 2020

·        Discusses geopolitical factors affecting economic response to COVID-19 across the U.S., Europe, and India

·        Identifies macro trends accelerated by the pandemic, including the increasingly desperate search for yield

·        Showcases the real asset opportunities that remain and the appetite for ESG investments 

Toronto/Boston– Manulife Investment Management today released its biannual Global Intelligence report, a firmwide outlook highlighting notable perspectives from its private and public markets investment teams - and read in nearly 200 countries. Key themes in the report include what we expect during the stages of economic recovery, disruption within emerging markets like India, the opportunities for timberland assets amid expanding carbon offset markets, the myriad challenges in addressing the pandemic’s impact on the European Union, and how emergency central bank measures have obscured looming bond market risks.  

"As the global economy recovers from the fast and dramatic downturn experienced earlier this year, we believe market volatility will continue and accelerate the macro trends already at work, including an increasingly desperate search for yield," said Christopher P. Conkey, CFA, head of public markets at Manulife Investment Management. "While we remain optimistic that calmer waters lie ahead, complex risks continue to affect investment behaviors. The latest edition of Global Intelligence provides information to help clients assess the landscape with clear eyes, a long-term perspective, and the support of expert teams.”

"While private markets have not been immune to the global pandemic’s economic impact, we still see nuanced opportunities to suppress risk and improve returns on a variety of private market assets," said Stephen J. Blewitt, head of private markets at Manulife Investment Management. "We’re helping investors find opportunities that provide diversification, dependable cash yields, inflation protection, and low correlations with mainstream financial markets, as reflected in this latest report."

Notable asset class themes, shifts and guidance within Global Intelligence include: 

·        "India at the crossroads of disruption—a tipping point for growth" — Senior Portfolio Manager Rana Gupta and Research Analyst Koushik Pal share how the pandemic has accelerated digitization and reconfiguration across areas of the economy including grocery retail and durables manufacturing.

·        "Timberland Investing and the promise of carbon markets" — Global Head of Timber Investments Thomas G. Sarno, Managing Director of Economic Research Keith A. Balter and Director of Forest Economics Mary Ellen Aronow discuss how timberland owners can find a new, more diversified revenue stream as the carbon offset market grows and ESG factors assume more significant roles within investors’ portfolios.

·        "How emergency central bank measures have obscured looming bond market risks" — Senior Portfolio Managers Roshan Thiru, CFA, and Daniel S. Janis III explore how central bank intervention policies designed to contain market fallout have obscured risk for fixed-income investors.

·        “The three stages of the global economic recovery” — Global Chief Economist & Global Head of Macroeconomic Strategy, Frances Donald, discusses a three-stage recovery, each with its own set of key themes, bringing about different kinds of opportunities and risks.

·        "Assessing Europe’s response to Covid-19" — Senior Strategist Stuart Thomson, CFA,  examines the state of the geopolitical landscape in Europe and the challenges of addressing the pandemic’s impact on the European Union.

For more information and to view the report please click here.


About Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management1 is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than 150 years of financial stewardship to partner with clients across our institutional, retail, and retirement businesses globally. Our specialist approach to money management includes the highly differentiated strategies of our fixed-income, specialized equity, multi-asset solutions, and private markets teams—along with access to specialized, unaffiliated asset managers from around the world through our multimanager model. Our personalized, data-driven approach to retirement is focused on delivering financial wellness in retirement plans of all sizes to help plan participants and members retire with dignity.

Headquartered in Toronto, we operate as Manulife Investment Management throughout the world, with the exception of the United States, where the retail and retirement businesses operate as John Hancock Investment Management and John Hancock, respectively; and in Asia and Canada, where the retirement business operates as Manulife. Manulife Investment Management had CAD$832 billion (US$586 billion) in assets under management and administration.* Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit our website at

* MFC financials in CAD. Global Wealth and Asset Management AUMA as of March 31, 2020, was $832 billion and includes $195 billion of assets managed on behalf of other segments and $139 billion of assets under administration.


Media Contacts:

Carl Wong

Brooke Tucker-Reid

U.S. and Europe
Elizabeth Bartlett