TORONTO and BOSTON, Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Looking toward 2014, Manulife Asset Management is marking highlights of a milestone year in 2013, one which included approximately $3 billion* in gross sales from institutional and sub-advisory clients globally, the expansion of investment capabilities with the addition of three new portfolio management teams, strong growth of its asset allocation franchise, a continuing emphasis on groundbreaking thought leadership, and the launch of a private markets business. "As a C$265 billion ( US$258 billion) asset manager with a global footprint, Manulife Asset Management has great momentum for the future," said Warren Thomson, Chairman and CEO. "Looking toward the new year, we will continue our growth as a premier institutional asset manager by leveraging our strong brand, investment management performance, expanded operations, and global client base." In 2013, Manulife Asset Management won mandates from new and existing clients worldwide totaling $3 billion. The new mandates encompass Manulife Asset Management's Strategic Fixed Income Strategy team, as well as the US All Cap, US Small Cap Core, US Large Cap Core, Japan Core Fixed Income and Canadian Real Estate strategies. Further, in December the firm announced that it was awarded a new mandate from the North Dakota State Investment Board, to be managed by the Securitized Assets team in the Total Return Bond Strategy. The firm was also given additional funding from an existing client, the Springfield-based Teachers' Retirement System of the State of Illinois, which increased its allocation to the firm's Strategic Fixed Income Strategy with an additional award of more than US$200 million. The Asian business saw robust institutional sales growth across the region with wins that included central bank, sovereign wealth fund and public pension mandates. In addition, further funds were added to a multi-billion-dollar mandate from the world's largest government pension fund in Japan. A notable contributor to the Asian business was the launch of a fixed income fund by the company's joint venture in China which raised more than US$700 million. New Investment and Sales Resources In late March 2013, Manulife Asset Management expanded its global equity capabilities with the acquisition of a new U.S. Small Cap equity team. Bill Talbot, CFA, Senior Portfolio Manager, leads the team, which also includes Joseph Nowinski, Portfolio Manager; Travis Schaftenaar, CFA, CPA, Senior Investment Analyst; and Vikram Kaura, Senior Investment Analyst. Also in March, Manulife Asset Management named Paul Boyne and Doug McGraw to lead a new team managing a Global Equity Strategy for institutional clients and certain wealth management businesses of Manulife Financial and John Hancock. In May, Manulife Asset Management added a new Emerging Markets Debt portfolio management team consisting of Roberto Sanchez-Dahl, CFA, and Paolo H. Valle. Significant investment capabilities were also added outside of North America. This included additions to Manulife Asset Management's on-the-ground presence in Asia, where its strategy coverage was expanded with the addition of equity specialists for various regional and single-market strategies, including Korean equities and Japan fixed income. In addition, a new Head of Institutional Sales, Europe & Middle East was appointed to capture sales opportunities in these regions. Asset Allocation Fund of Fund Growth In 2013, the company secured its first ever multi-asset institutional mandates with five wins in Asia. Manulife Asset Management's Portfolio Solutions Group (PSG) is responsible for asset allocation portfolio management globally with solutions on North American and Asian retail, retirement and variable life platforms. PSG manages more than 120 distinct investment portfolios, offering a variety of solutions for investors including Target Risk, Dynamic Asset Allocation, Alternative Asset Allocation, Target Date, and Global/Country/Regional Allocation.