BOSTON, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Manulife Asset Management announced today that it has been awarded a new fixed income mandate from a U.S. public fund and also given additional funding from an existing U.S. public pension fund client. The North Dakota State Investment Board, headquartered in Bismarck, approved a strategic allocation from its Permanent Fund, to be funded over time and managed by Manulife Asset Management's Securitized Assets team in its Total Return Bond Strategy. The Springfield-based Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois significantly increased its allocation to the firm's Strategic Fixed Income Strategy, with an additional award of more than $200 million, which is managed by the firm's Global Multi-Sector team. "We are honored to be selected by the North Dakota State Investment Board and to have received additional funding from Illinois Teachers. We are committed to providing superior investment management and client service to these important accounts," said Christopher Conkey, Global Chief Investment Officer. "Recently we have gained a good deal of momentum with our Strategic Fixed Income and Securitized Assets Strategies, as clients have increasingly sought creative investment solutions within the fixed income space." Portfolio managers Bond Griffin, Peter Farley and Jeff Given of Manulife Asset Management's Securitized Assets team are managing the North Dakota assignment. The investment strategy for the Permanent Fund consists primarily of senior securitized assets of moderate duration across the residential and commercial mortgage areas. Over the past five years, the Securitized Assets team has managed four other strategies for North Dakota's Pension Fund ranging from distressed mortgages to high quality CMBS. The North Dakota Permanent Fund was created in 2010 to hold and invest tax revenue from oil and gas production in the state. The Securitized Assets team manages US$5.4 billion in assets. The additional funding from Illinois Teachers' represents a follow-on investment into their Strategic Fixed Income portfolio which is managed by Daniel S. Janis III, Thomas Goggins and Kisoo Park of Manulife Asset Management's Global Multi-Sector team. The Strategic Fixed Income Strategy's investment team believes that by expanding the investment universe to include multiple sectors and currencies, it can increase the potential to add value through income generation and capital appreciation while at the same time, seeking to reduce volatility-related risk. The team manages US$15 billion in assets globally. 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 September 30, 2013, assets under management for Manulife Asset Management were C$265 billion (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.