Fund Management

Manulife Gets European Alternative Funds Green Light

Editorial Staff, 20 May 2021

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Alternative Investment Funds are those which can be bought and sold across the nations in the European Economic Area. They are examples of how funds can be "passported," removing the need to be individually registered in specific nations, cutting out a layer - hopefully - of red tape.

Manulife Investment Management has won regulatory clearance for its Irish entity as a manager of alternative assets under European Union rules.

Clearance has been granted to Manulife Investment Management (Ireland) Limited, for what is called an Alternative Investment Fund Manager, aka AIFM. The status was approved as of 15 April. It means that private markets funds can be bought and sold across the European Economic Area under passporting rules. (EEA countries include European Union member states and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member. Neither is the UK.)

“Achieving this licence is a critical milestone to further extend the reach of our global private markets business and is a strategic opportunity for European investors seeking access to the diversification and the potential benefits of private asset exposures,” Paul R Lorentz, president and CEO, Manulife Investment Management, said. 

With more than €98 billion in private markets assets globally, Manulife Investment Management’s capabilities are offered across private equity and credit, real estate, infrastructure, timberland, and agriculture to institutional and high net worth clients.

Andrew Arnott, head of wealth and asset management, Manulife Investment Management, US and Europe added: “According to ESMA, the European AIF segment is nearly €5.8 trillion – or 40 per cent of the total EU fund industry.”

Manulife Investment Management has recently hired team members to expand its private markets offering. Christoph Schumacher, global head of real assets, and Alex Catterick, global head of high-net-worth strategy for private markets, were taken on by the firm to build strategy, and manage the development, launch and growth of new products designed for investors interested in private assets.

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