Manulife Private Wealth’s ESG Charter – Our journey

In our industry we talk a lot about “doing what’s in the best interest of our clients”, if we don’t, there are financial consequences either through loss of revenue to our business or fines from the regulator, or both.

Consequently, we take our roles as stewards of our client monies quite seriously. Extending the concept of stewardship, sustainability and resilience to the day-to-day management of our businesses seems to be the next logical step. So why not incorporate these same concepts into our approach to investing?

Years ago, when the industry began to hear about Socially Responsible Investing, it was generally associated with negative screening, that is, excluding companies from an Investment Manager’s universe of potential investments due to the core business of the company. By integrating ESG considerations into the investment process and philosophy, negative screening takes a back seat to stewardship, sustainability and resilience and the conversation begins to change. There are many examples of how various industries are effecting important change based on dialogue between the Board of Directors, the C-suite, investment managers and shareholders to identify milestones and make meaningful progress on reasonable and achievable ESG goals without depriving the companies of investment capital.

More importantly, ESG analysis and integration is happening across the entire investment universe. It extends beyond selecting shares in a company to fixed income issues and private markets. As I continued my research into this evolving school of thought, it became apparent to me that Manulife Private Wealth should start its own ESG journey by developing a charter which states our ambition and outlines our modest objectives while also leaving room for continued progress and evolution.

Increasingly more sophisticated, wealthy investors and their children are asking questions about MPW’s approach to incorporating ESG into our investment process. By sharing the MPW ESG charter with them, we hope to engage in meaningful dialogue. After all, as humans sharing this planet, ESG factors impact us all.

I hope you find this charter interesting as we begin documenting and integrating ESG within Manulife Private Wealth.

ESG Charter

A widespread health crisis such as a global pandemic could cause substantial market volatility, exchange trading suspensions and closures, and affect portfolio performance. For example, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has resulted in significant disruptions to global business activity. The impact of a health crisis and other epidemics and pandemics that may arise in the future, could affect the global economy in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen at the present time. A health crisis may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks. Any such impact could adversely affect the portfolio’s performance, resulting in losses to your investment.

The material contains information regarding the investment approach described herein and is not a complete description of the investment objectives, risks, policies, guidelines or portfolio management and research that supports this investment approach. Any commentary in this report is provided for informational purposes only and is not an endorsement of any security or sector. The opinions expressed are those of Manulife Private Wealth as of the date of writing and are subject to change. The information in this document including statements concerning financial market trends, are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. This material does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Manulife Private Wealth to any person to buy or sell any security. Past performance is no indication of future results. The information and/or analysis contained in this material have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable but Manulife Investment Management does not make any representation as to their accuracy, correctness, usefulness or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof or the information and/or analysis contained herein. Neither Manulife Private Wealth or its affiliates, nor any of their directors, officers or employees shall assume any liability or responsibility for any direct or indirect loss or damage or any other consequence of any person acting or not acting in reliance on the information contained herein. Please note that this material must not be wholly or partially reproduced.

Manulife Private Wealth is a division of Manulife Investment Management Limited and Manulife Investment Management Distributors Inc. Investment services are offered by Manulife Investment Management Limited and/or Manulife Investment Management Distributors Inc. Banking services and products are offered by Manulife Bank of Canada. Wealth & Estate Services are offered by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

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Leslie Brophy

Leslie Brophy, 

AVP, Head of Investments and Head of Sales

Manulife Private Wealth

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