Manulife Asset Management Adds New U.S. Small Cap Equity Team - Expands equity capabilities with veteran team managing Small Cap Value and Small Cap Core Strategies

- Follows series of acquisitions adding Global Core Equity, International Value, U.S. Core/Value, U.S. Large Cap Growth, and Canadian Core Equity managers over the past two years

BOSTON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Manulife Asset Management has expanded its global equity capabilities with the creation of a new U.S. Small Cap equity team that moved to the firm from UBS Global Asset Management. Bill Talbot, CFA, Senior Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager, leads the team, which also includes Joseph Nowinski, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager; Travis Schaftenaar, CFA, CPA, Director and Senior Investment Analyst; and Vikram Kaura, Director and Senior Investment Analyst. The team reports to Christopher Conkey, Global Chief Investment Officer of Manulife Asset Management, and is based in Chicago, Illinois.  

"Bill and the new team bring to Manulife Asset Management an established track record of outperformance in the small cap equity space," said Mr. Conkey. "Adding their considerable investment management strengths represents a significant step forward in expanding our U.S. small cap equity capabilities. We believe their fundamentally-oriented investment process and diligent risk management practices is a strong cultural fit with Manulife Asset Management's growing equity strategy lineup."

The new small cap team employs a disciplined bottom-up fundamental research approach, based on the belief that investing in small cap stocks with cash flow and earnings growth visibility, attractive valuations and manageable risk over the long-term will result in outperformance. The approach has led to proven results. In the Q4 2012 published rankings by eVestment, their US Small Cap Value strategy ranked in the first or second quartile for the one, three and five years ending December 31, 2012. Similarly, their US Small Cap Core Equity strategy ranked either first or second quartile for the one, three, five and seven years ending December 31, 2012.

Mr. Talbot, a 24-year industry veteran, joins Manulife Asset Management from UBS where since 1997 he focused exclusively on US small cap investing. His responsibilities included fundamental and industry-level research for consumer discretionary and utilities. Prior to UBS, he invested in private debt and equity for the Travelers Companies. There he financed expansion, buyouts, recapitalizations, and spin-offs. He initiated some of Travelers' earliest non-US investments and represented the company on two private equity fund advisory boards. Mr. Talbot is a graduate of Trinity College, and obtained a MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

Mr. Nowinski also joins from UBS where he was Co-Portfolio Manager of the U.S. Small Cap Value Portfolio. His responsibilities included portfolio construction and maintaining the integrity of the research process for the small cap equity team. He focused exclusively on U.S. small cap investing where his responsibilities included fundamental and industry-level research for energy, materials and industrials. Prior to joining UBS in 2005, Mr. Nowinski spent six years with Citigroup Global Asset Management as a senior equity analyst, covering the retail, healthcare services, and REIT sectors. He is a graduate of DePaul University.

Mr. Schaftenaar was with UBS prior to joining Manulife Asset Management, working on small cap analysis of the healthcare sector, including pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and biotechnology. Prior to joining UBS in 2004, he worked for Lincoln Capital Management, where he analyzed the retail and consumer products industries. Mr. Schaftenaar also worked in public accounting as a CPA for six years. He obtained a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Mr. Kaura also was previously with UBS, covering the small cap technology sector. Prior to joining the UBS Small Cap Team in 2006, he spent six years as a sell-side analyst focusing on technology stocks at RBC Capital Markets, Piper Jaffray, and Collins Stewart, and also worked for ten years in technology research and product development at GE and Rockwell Automation.  He obtained a BS from Panjab University (India), an MS from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

The creation of Manulife Asset Management's new U.S. Small Cap Equity team follows a series of recent additions of investment managers. Earlier this month, Paul Boyne and Doug McGraw joined the firm, adding Global Core Equity capabilities. A Canadian Core Equity team was launched by Monika Skiba, CFA in October 2011.  In July 2011, a group of investment management professionals led by W. Shannon Reid, CFA, added U.S. Large Cap Growth capabilities. In February 2011, the former Optique Capital team led by Wendell L. Perkins, CFA, joined to deepen the firm's International Value Equity capabilities.  And in January 2011, veteran investment managers Walter T. McCormick, CFA, and Emory W. (Sandy) Sanders, Jr., CFA, joined Manulife Asset Management to lead a new U.S. Core Value Equity team.

Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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. As at December 31, 2012, assets under management were C$237.6 billion. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management may 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. Clients look to Manulife for 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$532 billion (US$535 billion) as at December 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 may be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

SOURCE Manulife Asset Management



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