Manulife to outsource Canada’s real estate services to JLL, cutting 50 jobs

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Manulife Financial Corp will outsource its real estate operations to Canada to focus on its entrepreneurial investment management unit, Canada’s largest life insurer said Thursday.

The move to a new structure will see 50 jobs cut by Manulife Investment Management, which overseas the property portfolio, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday. The sources declined to be identified as details are not public.

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Manulife will outsource rental services to Chicago-based commercial real estate brokerage JLL Inc under a short-term contract, after which services will be provided by a range of brokerage firms, the company said. insurer in a press release.

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“As part of this repositioning, our teams working in real estate operations in Canada will transition to JLL in March 2023,” Manulife said. The company did not immediately reveal how many people would be affected.

Reacting to rising interest rates, businesses around the world rushed to control costs and lay off workers. The Bank of Canada has raised its key rate by 350 basis points since March to 3.75%, a 14-year high. A further increase is expected in December.

Among other financial services companies, Canada’s largest lender, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal recently cut jobs in the United States.

JLL Canada said it would help Manulife “achieve operational efficiencies,” but did not disclose any financial details about the companies’ collaboration.

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Manulife shares rose 1.1% at the open, outperforming the financials sub-index which rose slightly.

The real estate arm of Manulife Investment Management uses a pool of capital to invest in real estate in 29 cities across the United States, Asia and Canada. According to its annual report, the insurer held about C$13.2 billion ($9.90 billion) in real estate investments in 2021.

Earlier this month, Manulife reported lower third-quarter earnings as growing fears of an economic slowdown hurt earnings at its wealth and asset management unit. ($1 = 1.3336 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Niket Nishant and Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru and Divya Rajagopal in Toronto; Editing by Jason Neely and Jonathan Oatis)


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