John Hancock corrals $389m for open-ended fund

The US branch of life insurer Manulife is raising a core-plus vehicle to invest in US apartments, office and industrial real estate.

John Hancock has raised $389 million in the first close for its open-ended, core-plus real estate fund, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

The Boston-based insurer, purchased by Toronto insurer Manulife Financial in 2003, is investing Hancock US Real Estate Fund’s capital in apartments, office and industrial real estate in large US markets, according to documents from the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund. The investor allocated $50 million to the vehicle at its March meeting.

A spokesman for Ohio Police & Fire declined further comment, and John Hancock could not be reached for comment.

In real estate, John Hancock’s parent company has operated under the John Hancock name in the US and as Manulife Real Estate outside of the US. Manulife Real Estate launched an institutional fund platform in 2011, according to its website.

Manulife’s last publicly-disclosed transaction was the June sale of a two-building office property in suburban Toronto for $19 million, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics.

Manulife Real Estate had $16.2 billion in real estate assets globally as of March 31. The firm’s real estate portfolio is largely concentrated in office properties, with half of those assets in the US, according to the firm’s website.

Overall, Manulife managed $574 billion as of March 31.