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John Hancock Launches Global Conservative Absolute Return Fund

BOSTON, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock said today that it has launched the John Hancock Global Conservative Absolute Return Fund to new sales for Class A, Class I and Class R6 shares (Class A:  JHRAX, Class I:  JHRIX, Class R6:  JHRRX).  Standard Life Investments, which has managed absolute return assets since 2005, is the fund's investment manager.   

"Our new John Hancock Global Conservative Absolute Return Fund (GCAR) is yet another example of our strategy of providing investors and financial advisors exclusive access to an array of alternative investing strategies managed by premier, institutional-caliber investment management firms," said Andrew G. Arnott, President & Chief Executive Officer, John Hancock Funds, LLC. 

"Compared with the John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies Fund, known as GARS and also managed by Standard Life Investments, the new GCAR fund offers investors the ability to further diversify their portfolios through an absolute return strategy with potentially lower volatility, zero equity exposure, and a more conservative investment philosophy.  GCAR may also potentially act as a fixed income substitute for investors who are concerned about rising interest rates and correlation to broad fixed income markets," he added.

Launched late in 2011, GARS has been one of the fastest-growing funds for John Hancock, crossing the $3 billion in assets milestone in just 17 months.

"Standard Life Investments is one of the largest managers of Absolute Return Strategies with more than $40 billion under management and over 1,200 institutional clients in this type of product," noted Mr. Arnott. "And the experienced team of Ian Pizer and Roger Sadewsky has been running the GCAR strategy for Standard Life Investments' institutional clients since inception in March 2011."

Keith Skeoch, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Life Investments, said: "John Hancock and Standard Life Investments share a common commitment to providing investors with innovative products designed to meet their specific investment needs.  The GCAR fund builds on our many years of experience of working in the multi-asset investing space. We believe that it will appeal to many investors looking to generate absolute returns with lower levels of volatility. The launch of the fund is further evidence of the growing relationship between Standard Life Investments and John Hancock, a relationship that allows us to deliver investment potential to the largest asset management market in the world. We look forward to working with John Hancock to help deliver absolute returns for their clients."

Ian Pizer, PhD, CFA, and Roger Sadewsky, both Investment Directors, Multi-Asset Investing with Standard Life Investments, are the portfolio managers for the GCAR fund. Mr. Pizer is responsible for the generation of interest rate strategies for inclusion across Standard Life Investments' fixed-interest portfolios and for consideration by multi-asset portfolios. Additionally, he is chair of the Bond Investment Group and a member of the Strategic Investment Group. Mr. Sadewsky provides research input into the Macro fixed income environment and has a specialist background in credit and credit derivatives.

The investment strategy underlying the GCAR fund was originally designed by Standard Life Investments to help a U.K. corporate client diversify its fixed income portfolio.  While GARS invests in a spectrum of equity, equity-like, fixed income and fixed income-like securities, GCAR has no equity or equity-like exposure, which leads the fund to have a fundamentally different risk/return spectrum that looks to deliver a return commensurate with a lowered risk profile.  GCAR has a 12-18 month outlook for each of its strategies, allowing it the ability to be slightly more tactical, compared with GARS' three year outlook for strategies.

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