BOSTON, Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Investments today announced the addition of two new funds focused on integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues with fundamental security analysis: John Hancock ESG Core Bond Fund and John Hancock ESG International Equity Fund, managed by Breckinridge Capital Advisors and Boston Common Asset Management, respectively.
The new funds, which offer exposure to the fixed-income and international equity markets, complement John Hancock Investments' existing U.S. equity-focused ESG funds. John Hancock ESG Core Bond Fund invests in both corporate and taxable municipal debt, while John Hancock ESG International Equity Fund invests in developed- and emerging-market equities across the market capitalization spectrum.
"This is an important milestone for John Hancock Investments in the ESG space," said Andrew G. Arnott, president and CEO. "As a company, we're constantly looking for ways to deliver new investment solutions for our shareholders. To be able to offer not just two new funds but two new asset classes to socially and environmentally conscious investors is an exciting next step."
Over the past 20 years, ESG investing has grown from a niche market consisting of 55 funds that mostly excluded polluting corporations to more than 900 funds today representing a diversity of approaches. One testament to the growing momentum behind ESG investing is the creation of Principles for Responsible Investment, a leading proponent of ESG investing, which this year represented nearly 1,500 signatories and roughly $60 trillion in invested assets.1
The asset managers that John Hancock Investments selected to run these new offerings both have long histories in ESG investing. Founded in 1993, Breckinridge Capital Advisors, an independently owned investment manager with approximately $27 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016, focuses exclusively on high-grade fixed income, offering municipal, corporate, and government bond strategies. Boston Common Asset Management, founded in 2003 and specializing in international equities, is dedicated exclusively to ESG investing, with approximately $2 billion in assets under management invested across multiple strategies as of September 30, 2016. The firm is employee owned, which offers an important measure of independence when pursuing shareholder advocacy initiatives, a key element of its ESG investment approach.
The new ESG funds are the latest product offerings from John Hancock Investments. Earlier this year, the company launched two U.S. equity ESG funds, managed by Trillium Asset Management, the country's oldest investment advisor exclusively focused on sustainable and responsible investing; John Hancock Global Focused Strategies Fund, managed by Standard Life Investments; three target-date retirement funds; and new sector-specific exchange-traded funds, with underlying indexes designed by Dimensional Fund Advisors.
John Hancock ESG Core Bond Fund is available in the following share classes: Class A: JBOAX; Class I: JBOIX; and Class R6: JBORX.
John Hancock ESG International Equity Fund is available in the following share classes: Class A: JTQAX; Class I: JTQIX; and Class R6: JTQRX.
To learn more about John Hancock ESG funds, visit jhinvestments.com/esg.
1 "Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2014," The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, 2015; Principles for Responsible Investment, 2016.
A fund's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses should be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the fund. To obtain a prospectus, contact your financial professional, call John Hancock Investments at 800-225-5291, or visit jhinvestments.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money.
About John Hancock Investments
John Hancock has helped individuals and institutions build and protect wealth since 1862. Today, we are one of America's strongest and most-recognized brands. As a manager of managers, John Hancock Investments searches the world to find proven portfolio teams with specialized expertise for every fund we offer, then we apply vigorous investment oversight to ensure they continue to meet our uncompromising standards and serve the best interests of our shareholders. Our unique approach to asset management has led to a diverse set of investments deeply rooted in investor needs, along with strong risk-adjusted returns across asset classes.
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were CAD$966 billion (US$736 billion) as at September 30, 2016. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife 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 and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 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.
Large company stocks could fall out of favor. The stock prices of midsize and small companies can change more frequently and dramatically than those of large companies. Foreign investing, especially in emerging markets, has additional risks, such as currency and market volatility and political and social instability. A portfolio concentrated in one sector or that holds a limited number of securities may fluctuate more than a diversified portfolio. Hedging and other strategic transactions may increase volatility and result in losses if not successful. Illiquid securities may be difficult to sell at a price approximating their value. Fixed-income investments are subject to interest-rate and credit risk; their value will normally decline as interest rates rise or if an issuer is unable or unwilling to make principal or interest payments. Mortgage- and asset-backed securities may be sensitive to changes in interest rates and may be subject to early repayment and the market's perception of issuer creditworthiness. Municipal bond prices can decline due to fiscal mismanagement or tax shortfalls or if related projects become unprofitable. The interest earned on taxable municipal securities is fully taxable at the federal level and may be taxed at the state level. Liquidity—the extent to which a security may be sold or a derivative position closed without negatively affecting its market value, if at all—may be impaired by reduced trading volume, heightened volatility, rising interest rates, and other market conditions. Fund distributions generally depend on income from underlying investments and may vary or cease altogether in the future. The funds' ESG policy could cause them to perform differently than similar funds that do not have such a policy. Please see the funds' prospectuses for additional risks.
MF335877 ESGPR 12/16
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SOURCE John Hancock Investments