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In sync with its long term strategy to expand its Asset Management business, Canadian life insurer, Manulife Financial Corp. (MFC - Analyst Report) has added roles to its institutional sales team.

Manulife Asset Management has delegated a greater responsibility to James Chen who now heads International Business & Relationship Management, International, from his earlier confines in the Asian region. The company has also hired James Wheeler as head of Institutional sales for Europe and the Middle East.

Manulife Asset Management is seeking to replicate its Asian market success in Europe. The company has been able to secure institutional investors like central bank, sovereign wealth fund and public pension fund mandates in Asia led by its local reach, broad investment capabilities and attractive product offerings.

The company is intent on growing its Asset management business. Earlier in the month the company announced that its unit Manulife Holdings Berhad (“MHB”) will acquire MAAKL Mutual Bhd (“MAAKL”) from MAA Group Berhad in Malaysia.  The transaction will fetch MHB one of the top ten positions in Asset Management in Malaysia.

Manulife Asset Management provides client-centric advice and solutions, spanning all asset classes, to both institutional and private investors. The company prides itself on constantly developing bespoke solutions that consistently deliver value for clients.

The company’s expansion of its Asset Management business reflects its long-term goal of growing higher returns from lower-risk business.

Manulife currently sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other life insurers like StanCorp Financial Group Inc. (SFG - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL - Snapshot Report) and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU - Analyst Report), both of which come with a Zacks Rank #2 are worth considering.

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