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Manulife Investment Management launches Forest Climate Fund

US$ unless otherwise stated  

Provides investors with opportunity to invest in nature and mitigate climate change

BOSTON, Dec. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - Manulife Investment Management announced today the launch of Manulife Forest Climate Fund, LP1 (FCF or the fund), which is a closed-end fund providing qualified U.S. investors with the opportunity to promote climate change mitigation through sustainably managed forests where carbon sequestration is prioritized over timber production. The fund, which along with its affiliated offshore vehicles is targeting US$500 million in committed capital, will be invested in a globally diversified portfolio of sustainably managed forestland assets. Manulife Investment Management may seek to provide opportunities for professional investors in certain other jurisdictions, including within the European Union, to be able to invest in the Forest Climate Strategy. As such, Manulife Investment Management is seeking to ensure that the strategy, if offered outside of the United States through an offshore feeder fund, will comply with the requirements of Article 9 of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.

Manulife Investment Management Logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management) (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)
Manulife Investment Management Logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management) (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)

"Manulife Forest Climate Fund's ability to align with the climate goals of our investors and key stakeholders is enhanced by our experience, size, global scale, and reputation in the market for developing and managing global timberland portfolios and carbon markets," said Tom Sarno, global head of timberland investments, Manulife Investment Management. "We believe high-integrity, verified carbon credits will continue to be viewed as premier decarbonization instruments and that, in time, such carbon markets will eventually come to resemble that of more traditional commodities."

The fund will aim to deliver durable, high-quality carbon value to investors through carbon credits. To achieve its goals, Manulife FCF will focus on acquiring forests with strong carbon potential and high conservation value, in addition to implementing sustainable forest management plans. The fund intends to use carbon credits, conservation easements, value-added strategies, and limited timber harvests to generate high-integrity climate benefits and financial returns for investors.2

As a steward of its clients' investments, Manulife Investment Management's sustainable investing practices and nature-positive outcomes are integral to its business. The firm is bringing FCF to investors recognizing that clients' needs are growing in areas beyond net neutral strategies. In addition to carbon credit opportunities, investors are also looking to help halt and reverse biodiversity and nature loss through long-term protection and restoration of sensitive habitats.

Eric Cooperström, managing director, impact investing and natural capital solutions, Manulife Investment Management, added, "We are excited to bring a product to investors that we have developed by capitalizing on our decades of experience in sustainable timberland management and on our carbon market expertise. As of June 30, 2022, our integrated timberland management operations comprise nearly 6 million acres under management across six countries and more than 100 individually managed properties, which allows for alignment of investors' environmental, sustainable, and financial interests and greatly enhances the potential opportunity to deliver value."

The fund will pursue carbon insets through sequestration embedded within the investment portfolio, with the objective to provide investors with long-term supplies of high-quality carbon credits aligned with Manulife Investment Management's carbon principles and lower exposure to market volatility.

Manulife Investment Management is intending to make available its Forest Climate Strategy as an opportunity to institutional investors globally and will be subject to local ESG regulations.

Manulife Investment Management's current portfolio of sustainably managed forestry assets is internationally diversified across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Its sustainably managed forests are concentrated in the United States, the deepest and most liquid timber market in the world, which also represents over 95% of voluntary improved forest management carbon credits issued and retired to date.3 Manulife Investment Management has nearly four decades of investing experience building and sustainably managing globally diversified timberland portfolios for the benefit of its investors while contributing to the environment and local communities.

___________________________

1

Manulife Forest Climate Fund is structured as a private offering only for qualified purchasers to be conducted pursuant to Rule 506(c) of Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act.

2

There is no guarantee that this fund will generate carbon credits or financial returns.

3

Voluntary Registry Offsets Database, Berkeley Carbon Trading Project March 2022: https://gspp.berkeley.edu/faculty-and-impact/centers/cepp/projects/berkeley-carbon-trading-project/offsets-database

###

This press release is targeted to U.S. qualified purchasers. It does not constitute an advertisement or an offer to sell any security or the solicitation of any offer to buy an interest in the fund or any existing or future fund or investment vehicle managed or advised by Manulife Investment Management and/or its affiliates or any other security. Nor shall there be any sales of the fund interests in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sales would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

The fund interests will be offered only to "qualified purchasers" as defined by Section 2(a)(51) of the Investment Company Act and in reliance on the exemption from registration set forth in Rule 506(c) of Regulation D promulgated under the Securities Act. Under Rule 506(c), general solicitation of offerings is permitted, however, prospective investors in the fund may be asked to provide supporting documentation satisfactorily to the general partner of a prospective investor's status as a qualified purchaser. The fund has not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold without registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities or blue sky laws and foreign securities laws.

The fund will be distributed in the United States by John Hancock Investment Management Distributors LLC, member FINRA, a Manulife IM affiliate.

Private market investments are speculative and considered risky, including potential loss of your investment, and may not be appropriate for every investor. Private investments are generally an illiquid asset class; shareholders cannot sell their funds when they want to without potentially facing high losses.

About Manulife Investment Management
Manulife Investment Management is the global brand for the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and the full resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, our leading capabilities in public and private markets are strengthened by an investment footprint that spans 19 geographies. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers from around the world. We're committed to investing responsibly across our businesses. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaboratively engage with companies in our securities portfolios, and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace retirement plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our retirement plan administration and investment expertise to help their employees plan for, save for, and live a better retirement. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulifeim.com.

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SOURCE Manulife Investment Management