Manulife Launches Inaugural Real Estate Investment Funds

Manulife Real Estate, the real estate arm of Manulife Financial, is extending to investors the benefit of its more than 60-year history of managing quality commercial real estate assets with the formation of a new Manulife Real Estate Funds platform and the launch of its inaugural Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds offering. Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds provides accredited investors with an opportunity to participate in a strategy that targets a steady flow of income and long term capital growth through investments in Canadian commercial real estate assets managed by Manulife Real Estate. The funds will be offered to institutional investors through Manulife Asset Management, the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial, bringing further diversification to its comprehensive asset management solutions.

"Manulife, through its Real Estate group, has a solid reputation managing commercial real estate assets with a portfolio in excess of C$6.4 billion and properties that span major cities across Canada, the United States and Asia," said Kevin Adolphe, Chief Operating Officer of Manulife's Investment Division and President and CEO of Manulife Real Estate. "We're very pleased to be able to put this long established expertise to work in a platform that allows investors to take advantage of what has been a sound asset class for Manulife for the last six decades."

Structured as a private, two-tier limited partnership, Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds provides separate real estate investment options from a single source of real estate assets. Investors can participate through direct investments in a portfolio of income producing commercial real estate properties or in a combination of investments in the property portfolio together with investments in publicly traded Canadian real estate securities and Canadian money market securities.

Manulife Asset Management will manage the fixed income and other securities components of the offering with the goal of maintaining adequate liquidity for investors while providing real estate exposure to support long-term objectives of maintaining high yields and attractive returns.

"We are very excited about this collaboration with Manulife Real Estate as it allows us to bring yet another opportunity for real diversification to our clients," said J-F Courville, President and CEO of Manulife Asset Management. "We believe institutional investors will benefit from the strength of Manulife Real Estate's long-standing expertise in real estate asset management. These funds, combined with our leading timber and farmland investment capabilities, round out our alternative asset offerings."

Manulife Canadian Real Estate Funds launched with 11 income producing properties valued at approximately C$190 million. The portfolio totals 1.8 million square feet of office and industrial space and is diversified by geography, tenant base and asset class. Manulife Financial has also invested in the funds and Manulife Real Estate will continue to actively manage the properties.

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on February 28, 2011