John Hancock Investment Management launches Global Environmental Opportunities Fund

Selects Pictet Asset Management for thematic investment expertise 

BOSTON, July 21, 2021—John Hancock Investment Management, a company of Manulife Investment Management, announced today the launch of John Hancock Global Environmental Opportunities Fund (Class I ticker: JABVX), subadvised by Pictet Asset Management (Pictet).

”We’re excited to offer John Hancock Global Environmental Opportunities Fund and find the launch to be quite timely,” said Andrew G. Arnott, CEO, John Hancock Investment Management and head of wealth and asset management, Manulife Investment Management, United States and Europe. “Investors have become increasingly more aware of the environmental trends that will shape future business models across industries—in particular, companies operating in services, infrastructure, technology, and resources related to environmental sustainability. The fund provides access to these opportunities from Pictet—a manager that has been focused on delivering risk-adjusted returns through its thematic franchise for more than 25 years.”

John Hancock Global Environmental Opportunities Fund seeks growth through capital appreciation by investing primarily in environmental companies. Environmental companies are defined by the firm as companies that both operate within the Planetary Boundaries framework and have business activities—of which all or a portion—reduce stress in at least one of the boundaries in the Planetary Boundaries framework.1

The Planetary Boundaries framework identifies the ecological safe operating space that’s essential to maintain a stable ecosystem required for human development and prosperity along nine Planetary Boundaries: climate change, ocean acidification, ozone depletion, nitrogen and phosphorus cycle, freshwater use, land-system change, biodiversity, aerosols, and chemical pollution.2 Extending beyond these boundaries increases the risk of large-scale adverse or irreversible environmental changes.

In its investment process, Pictet first determines that a company is operating within the safe operating space of the Planetary Boundaries framework. Using proprietary analysis, Pictet then selects a subset of these companies with business activities that have a positive impact on at least one of the nine Planetary Boundaries. Fundamental analysis is then performed on this investable universe seeking the securities of environmental companies that may be best positioned to capitalize on the environmental theme. Environmental companies include companies whose businesses and technologies seek to contribute positively to the environment by focusing on water technologies, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable forestry, organic agriculture, pollution control, waste management and recycling, or those the manager believes are otherwise involved in improving the efficiency of resource consumption or contributing to enhanced environmental quality.

John Hancock Global Environmental Opportunities Fund is managed by Luciano Diana and Gabriel Micheli, CFA, senior investment managers, and Yi Du, investment manager. They are additionally supported by the 40-person thematic equities team at Pictet.

“Investors are uniquely positioned to impact environmental change,” said Luciano Diana, senior investment manager, thematic equities, Pictet Asset Management. “In parallel, we believe companies with products and services that maximize resource efficiency and help diminish pollution have the ability to outperform the broader market over the long term.”

Pictet Asset Management is a pioneer in thematic equity investing focused on long-term megatrends, powerful structural forces of change that carry significant investment implications globally. Pictet Asset Management has $73 billion in assets under management in thematic equity strategies.3 John Hancock Global Environmental Opportunities Fund is the second thematic equity fund John Hancock Investment Management has launched with Pictet. John Hancock Global Thematic Opportunities Fund (Class I ticker: JTKIX) launched in December 2018. 

1 The Planetary Boundaries framework was developed by a group of universities across the world. It is not a static framework but subject to change based on evolving scientific research.

2 Steffen et al., Stockholm Resilience Centre.

3 As of March 31, 2021.