Manulife AM hires Peter Warnes to bolster asset allocation capability

19 August 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Hong Kong   By David Macfarlane

Manulife Asset Management (Manulife AM), which had AUM of approximately US$281 billion as at June 30, has announced the expansion of its asset allocation investment capability with the appointment of Peter Warnes as head of portfolio solutions group (PSG), international. He will be based in Hong Kong and will work closely with his asset allocation and international sales and relationship management colleagues to meet the increasing demand for asset allocation solutions outside of North America.

Mr. Warnes, who was previously with JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM), where he worked in both the Asia and London offices developing and managing global equity and global multi-asset investment portfolios, joins Manulife AM effective August 18. Before JPMAM, he worked for Invesco Asset Management after having started out Sun Alliance Investment Management in London. He contributed to the asset allocation process with each of these companies.

Barry Evans, CIO, global asset allocation, said: “Peter is a valuable addition to Manulife Asset Management’s asset allocation capability. He brings with him almost 25 years of investment experience in Asia and Europe. This gives him a high degree of insight into the needs of institutional and retail clients in these markets.”

Michael Dommermuth, president, international asset management at Manulife AM, went on to explain that “Demand for asset allocation investment solutions is growing remarkably across Asia as constituent populations are ageing rapidly and responsibility for retirement income security is increasingly shifting from the state to individuals.”

He continued: “Our Ageing Asia series of research suggests that Asian households allocate more than 50% of their financial assets to bank deposits. With bank deposits providing negative real returns across most of the region, many individual investors see the potential for mixed-asset investment solutions to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns, helping to build retirement savings or providing a recurring income stream to supplement other sources of household income during retirement. On the institutional side, we anticipate considerable demand from institutions looking for tailored asset allocation solutions to support long-term liabilities.”

Since establishing an Asian presence for PSG two years ago, Manulife AM has built a solid foundation for providing multi-asset solutions across the region. The company has gained significant traction in Asia, where, as of June 30 this year, it had over $5.9 billion in asset allocation assets under management for clients, which include sovereign wealth and pension funds, as well as retail clients. Various retail mixed-asset investment products have been launched in markets such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Macau under pension schemes and on mutual fund and insurance-linked platforms.

In addition to his portfolio management responsibilities, Mr. Warnes will set the strategic direction for continuing this encouraging growth for Manulife AM’s international business. He will join the company’s global asset allocation committee and interface closely with peers on the global PSG team, which includes more than 20 asset allocation professionals and has more than $119 billion in assets under management.