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Manulife Financial to acquire AIC Canadian retail investment funds

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Manulife Financial has closed the transaction to purchase AIC’s Canadian retail investment fund business.

Manulife Mutual Funds, a division of Elliott and Page, will become the manager of AIC funds in Canada while Portland Investment Counsel (formerly AIC Investment Services) will continue as a fund sub-adviser for certain AIC funds.

"This is an excellent fit for Manulife and AIC," says Paul Rooney, president and chief executive officer, Manulife Canada. "When coupled with Manulife’s solid wealth management services, this transaction strengthens our previously deep product line-up that meets the needs of investors and their advisors."

Michael Lee-Chin (pictured), executive chairman of Portland Investment Counsel, adds: "We are committed to ensuring our clients continue to receive high-quality service and are very pleased that Manulife Financial is the purchaser of our retail fund business. They share our passion for providing advisors and clients with a broad array of products and services."

The acquisition of AIC funds creates significant scale and presence for Manulife in the Canadian retail investment fund market. Overall retail fund assets under management for Canadians will grow 38 per cent to approximately CAD13.9bn, based on latest industry figures.

MFC Global Investment Management will provide portfolio management services for most of the broadened fund family, while Portland Investment Counsel, Third Avenue Management and Brookfield Redding will remain as sub-advisers for a range of funds.

Effective on or about 11 January 2010, Ariel Investments will no longer act as sub-adviser for the AIC American Small to Mid Cap Fund, AIC American Focused Fund and AIC American Focused Corporate Class. In addition, Loomis Sayles will no longer act as sub-adviser for the AIC Global Fixed Income Fund. MFC Global Investment Management will retain sole responsibility for portfolio management of these funds.

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