Finding the right partner can be hard, even if you’re a seemingly desirable multibillion-dollar insurance behemoth.
John Hancock Investments, which manages more than $104 billion of the $850 billion in assets overseen by its parent, Manulife Financial Corp. of Toronto, is still seeking the perfect match for its ambitions in debt exchange-traded funds, more than a year after it started meeting potential suitors.
“It’s been a challenge for us to find the right manager who’s willing to be transparent and also has broad enough capabilities,” said Steve Deroian, John Hancock’s U.S. head of ETF product, in an interview at the firm’s headquarters in Boston.
In the meantime, the investment manager has focused on building a series of stock ETFs it created with Dimensional Fund Advisors, Deroian said. But with that business now housing 13 funds and almost $1.5 billion, John Hancock wants to get into fixed-income ETFs — as long as it can find a suitable partner.