HONG KONG, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Manulife Asset Management has announced an expansion of its institutional sales network. This includes expanding James Chen's role to Head of Institutional Business & Relationship Management, International, from Head of Institutional Business & Relationship Management, Asia, and hiring James Wheeler as Head of Institutional Sales, Europe & Middle East. Chen commented on the development: "I am thrilled to lead the expansion of Manulife Asset Management's sales network into the European institutional market and welcome James Wheeler to the team. Based in the company's Hong Kong office, Wheeler will draw on his extensive institutional sales experience in the European market to deliver our increasingly diverse range of public market and private asset investment opportunities to institutional investors in the region." Manulife Asset Management's European market entry builds on its success in Asia, where its extensive on-the-ground footprint, broad investment capabilities and product offerings have helped it secure a string of institutional wins that include central bank, sovereign wealth fund and public pension fund mandates. Chen expressed excitement over the recent significant expansion of Manulife Asset Management's equity, fixed income and asset allocation capabilities. This has included the 2012 expansion of the company's Portfolio Solutions Group, a global team of asset allocation experts, into Asia and the addition of new investment teams to cover Global Equities, Emerging Markets Debt and US Small Cap Equities so far in 2013. Wheeler has more than 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. He spent the past nine years with Legal & General Investment Management in London, including the last six years as Senior Client Sales & Relationship Manager focusing on European institutional clients. During this time he developed a strong network of relationships with large pension funds, insurance companies and investment consultants in the region. Prior to that he worked with International Financial Data Services and the Royal Bank of Scotland. About Manulife Asset Management Manulife Asset Management is the global asset management arm of Manulife Financial, providing comprehensive asset management solutions for institutional investors and investment funds in key markets around the world. This investment expertise extends across a broad range of public, private, and alternative asset classes, as well as asset allocation solutions. As at 30 September 2013, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were US$258 billion. Manulife Asset Management's public markets units have investment expertise across a broad range of asset classes including public equity and fixed income, and asset allocation strategies. Offices with full investment capabilities are located in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In addition, Manulife Asset Management has a joint venture asset management business in China, Manulife TEDA. The public markets units of Manulife Asset Management also provide investment management services to affiliates' retail clients through product offerings of Manulife and John Hancock. John Hancock Asset Management and Declaration Management and Research are units of Manulife Asset Management. Additional information about Manulife Asset Management may be found at ManulifeAM.com.